Ohio Lt. Gov. Jon Husted visited the Delaware Area Career Center Monday and hosted a roundtable discussion with numerous county sheriffs and prosecutors from throughout the state.
The discussion was held in the law enforcement training center of the DACC and featured three Delaware County officials: Sheriff Russell Martin, Chief Deputy Jeff Balzer and Chief Deputy Dave Wiseman. Also in attendance were sheriffs or prosecutors from Richland, Knox, Union, Morrow, Madison, Muskingum, Coshocton, Licking and Franklin counties.
Martin opened the discussion by saying that in recent years there has been a “distrust between the community and the government that serves them” when it comes to law enforcement.
“(I think) the idea of holding law enforcement accountable and providing and supporting good local law enforcement, those two issues to do not have to be mutually exclusive,” Martin said. “I think I speak for everybody around this table today that we all feel that the worst thing for law enforcement is a corrupt police officer. … But they don’t represent, by and large, the citizen servants, the men and women, fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters, sons and daughters that go to work every day wearing a star, badge, or shield to help complete strangers on their worst days.”
Husted said he and Gov. Mike DeWine support Ohio law enforcement and their mission.
“We are all in this together,” Husted said. “Every aspect of a thriving society involves all of those elements and certainly the criminal justice system and law enforcement are an important part of thriving communities.”
Husted highlighted the recent launch of Ohio’s new eWarrants system, which is a statewide criminal justice database that improves federal background checks and ensures that warrants and protection orders are being uploaded to the same system, allowing law enforcement from across the state to get the most up-to-date information.
“(During our investigation) we found there were still counties in the state who were writing out warrants and protection orders on a typewriter,” Husted said. “Meigs County said in their review that it made them five times more efficient.”
Husted said he and DeWine will continue to work with law enforcement in the future.
“We have much work to do,” Husted said. “We know that finances are an issue. We know that workforce is an issue. … We know that bail reform is an issue. … Our work is never done. We’ve accomplished a lot, and we have so much left to go. … We appreciate your support.”