Apu: Pardon me, but I would like to see this money spent on more police officers. I have been shot eight times this year, and as a result, I almost missed work.
Chief Wiggum: Crybaby.
Governor Kasich with control of law enforcement money is a little like the mule with a spinning wheel. No one knows how he got it, and danged if he knows how to use it!
Now a Republican Sheriff is criticizing the law enforcement strategies of Kasich’s top cops.
Republican Sheriff Toby Spencer from Darke County is bothered by Kasich’s effort to take over a school drug prevention program. In a letter to the Department of Public Safety, wrote:
I am extremely disappointed and becoming more disenchanted daily over the antics of the state of Ohio and the State Highway Patrol to be shoved down the throats of county and local police agencies . . . The state of Ohio and Gov. Kasich have steadily ripped away the funding from local governments, only to boast and boost the antics of state agencies, such as your recent initiative to infiltrate our school systems with a drug prevention program.
Wait. What? A Sheriff is hot and bothered by someone telling kids not to do drugs?
Is it because Sheriff Spencer finds humor in the situation? Because we do. The Highway Patrol doesn’t have any jurisdiction in a local school. So a kid could light up a joint in the middle of the program, and the Trooper can’t do a thing about it.
THAT would make for a great yearbook photo.
But, exactly what are the “antics” the Sheriff is referring to?
The Sheriff is referring to the Patrol undertaking criminal patrols and investigations beyond its original mission. And its not just one sheriff guarding his “turf.” Channel 10 recently asked, “Is the Ohio State Highway Patrol straying from its mission?” And, in a recent case from Brown County a judge threw out a drug arrest because the Patrol was acting with “intentional and deliberate disregard” of its jurisdictional limits.
But, really, this is all about money.
Laura Bischoff, in the Dayton Daily News, observed that while the Kasich administration has gutted the Local Government Fund, which many counties and cities use to pay for local law enforcement, the budget of the Highway Patrol has “remained relatively flat over the past four years.” While Kasich’s police force is expanding its mission, the Kasich budget has led to cuts so deep that local police can’t even respond to burglar alarms, car crashes, and spend time solving crimes.
But the big fight is over casino money.
Under Ohio law, a portion of casino tax revenues are dedicated to law enforcement for training. The Ohio Police Officer Training Academy, under the control of the Attorney General, gets 85 percent of the money. The Office of Criminal Justice Services (“OCJS”), under the control of Kasich, gets 15 percent.
Local law enforcement is upset that the OCJS money has been taken by the Highway Patrol. (It was easy. OCJS is part of the Department of Public Safety. Kasich’s Directors of Public Safety have both been former Patrol officers.) The FOP obtained records showing that the casino money, instead of going to local law enforcement, was spent on training for Troopers, as well as frivolous items like “travel expenses, hotel rooms, meals and logo polo shirts.”
“It’s an issue of fairness, quite frankly, that everyone should be able to use this money, not just one agency,” said Mike Weinman, the director of government affairs for the Fraternal Order of Police of Ohio.
So there is the Kasich law enforcement strategy in a nutshell.
Cuts to funding for local cops, diversion of money for training, and frivolous spending by the agency under his control.