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Vivian Moon View Drop Down
MUSA Council
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Joined: May 16 2008
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vivian Moon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: State Highway Patrol
    Posted: Jul 08 2014 at 10:13am

Posted: 7:00 a.m. Tuesday, July 8, 2014
MIDDLETOWN

State Highway Patrol to respond to accident calls in Middletown

Officials: Middletown, OSHP agreement helps budget, manpower constraints

By Michael D. Pitman
Staff Writer

MIDDLETOWN —

This week starts a new relationship between the Middletown Division of Police and the Ohio State Highway Patrol, where the state agency will be the primary responder to traffic accidents in the city.

The deal between the Middletown Division of Police and Ohio State Highway Patrol is a product of efficiency due to Middletown budget and manpower constraints, officials said.

During the city’s most recent budget discussions in October, officials said personnel cuts for the police department, as well as the fire department, were inevitable. Public safety is the largest portion of the city’s budget. The city police department’s overall budget for 2014 is $11.9 million and salaries alone make up $10.4 million, according to the city’s finance department.

“We saw this as an opportunity to work more closely with the OSP to provide better services and work more efficiently,” said Middletown police Chief David VanArsdale.

VanArsdale met with Lt. Clint Arnold of the patrol’s Hamilton post on June 26, and by the next week they formalized an agreement that has Ohio State Highway Patrol troopers — both from the Hamilton post in Butler County and the Lebanon post in Warren County — responding to traffic accidents in the city. The agreement, the chief said, allows Middletown officers more time for policing crime.

The chief said the city is dealing with a number of issues in the city, most notably a heroin problem. Middletown is Butler County’s second-largest city, and according to the Butler County coroner’s office the county has seen a steady increase in heroin deaths. The city police department has also seen its forces cut from 93 officers from several years ago to 74 officers today. And while the number of officers have decreased, the calls for service are not, VanArsdale said.

In 2013, there were more than 41,000 calls for service, and another 12,000 officer-initiated actions. Of those calls for service, more than 1,400 were for traffic accidents. Through May, the city’s on pace to exceed last year’s calls and traffic numbers. As of May 2014, more than 18,000 calls for service were made with 655 of those being traffic accidents.

“The focus of the state patrol is traffic enforcement and accident investigation: they have both the training and equipment to perform these tasks, and do it very well,” VanArsdale said.

Arnold said Middletown will be able to “better serve residents” in non-traffic issues and “dedicate the resources for more criminal patrol efforts.”

“This is a work in progress,” he said of the agreement. “It’s a simple effort to ensure Middletown police officers can serve their residents the best way they can.”

The chief said the cost-savings of the deal are irrelevant because it’s more about savings in the amount of man-hours. He said an average traffic accident investigation takes about an hour, multiplied over more than 1,400 accidents in 2013 he said that’s equivalent to the salary of an officer.

According to the agreement, the changes include:

  • When a crash is called in, Middletown dispatch will contact the state patrol and get an estimated time of arrival. If the ETA is 15 minutes or less, the state patrol will respond. If it’s 15 to 25 minutes, Middletown will respond but will wait for the state patrol. If the ETA is 25 minutes or more, Middletown will respond and handle the accident.

During the city’s time on scene, officers are expected to ensure the scene is safe and assist the state patrol.

  • Middletown officers will respond to all crashes with injuries, but the decision to take the report or allow the state patrol to take the report is still based on ETA guidelines
  • Middletown officers will respond to all fatal traffic accidents, but the state patrol will assume control over all fatal traffic accidents.

Middletown police union President Cris Kelly said while the agreement will free up officers, it’s only doing so because “we’re getting spread too thin.”

“The reason it’s happening is because they’ve cut us down to minimum staffing,” Kelly said. “When you have a city police department, your police department should respond to their own calls — and there’s a certain amount of pride to make sure you can take care of everything. But with inadequate staffing, (this agreement) is a good thing.”

 

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VietVet View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote VietVet Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul 08 2014 at 10:41am
Well, let's see here. The story says the purpose of the Highway Patrol getting involved with Middletown's traffic accidents is to free up the Middletown officer time for more serious matters.

BUT....

When a crash is called in, Middletown dispatch will contact the state patrol and get an estimated time of arrival. If the ETA is 15 minutes or less, the state patrol will respond. If it’s 15 to 25 minutes, Middletown will respond but will wait for the state patrol. If the ETA is 25 minutes or more, Middletown will respond and handle the accident


SO, if the Highway Patrol can't respond in 15 to 25 minutes, Middletown will respond and WAIT for the state patrol. ???? If they are going to be there anyway, and are going to wait, wouldn't it be more prudent for them to start the accident investigation and turn it over to the Highway Patrol after they arrive? AND, if the Highway Patrol is 25 minutes or more in responding, Middletown will handle it. If that's the case, and the Middletown officer is going to investigate the accident anyway, what is the upside to this and time saved to investigate more serious issues come in to play? How many think the normal response time from the Patrol will be 15 min. or less? How many think it will be more like 25 min. or more?

It is certainly strange that the city leaders can't seem to find enough money to upgrade the police and fire (for the benefit of ALL who live here), especially since they have encouraged the drug epidemic and increased in crime with their ghetto building theme, but they can easily pull a rabbit out of their hat and find funding for their "special projects" that cater to the inner circle.

It's a simple concept......

POLICE......FIRE......ROADS......TRASH REMOVAL......AND INFRASTRUCTURE FOR THE BASICS.

ALL ELSE IS FLUFF AT THIS POINT UNTIL THE BASICS ARE MASTERED.

It is amazing that none of them can grasp this concept.

HANG 'EM HIGH
I'm so proud of my hometown and what it has become. Recall 'em all. Let's start over.
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arwendt View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote arwendt Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Aug 28 2014 at 2:13pm

Saw my first "State Trooper" traffic enforcement here in town on Breiel yesterday. I guess the guy to my left was going a bit to fast. as this trooper jumped behind him and hit his lights. Not that either option would be enjoyable... but if I were about to get a ticket for speeding in town I think I would prefer it to be from a Middletown Officer. 
“Sell not virtue to purchase wealth, nor Liberty to purchase power.” Benjamin Franklin - More at my Words of Freedom website.
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