July 28, 2014

Medina
Mostly cloudy
65°F

Ohio Highway Patrol wants citizens for “Community Shield’ class

MEDINA TWP. — The Ohio Highway Patrol needs help to stop drunken drivers.

That’s why the patrol is holding Medina County’s first “Community Shield” citizen’s police class Dec. 15.

“A lot of times, we depend on the public for finding drunk drivers or other criminal indicators,” Lt. Bill Haymaker, commander of the patrol’s Medina post, said.

The patrol will take 15 people for the class, which is free and designed to give police “extra sets of eyes and ears” through citizens, Haymaker said.

Instructors will explain the importance of contacting police when suspicious activity arises. To back up their claims, the instructors will give specific examples of how citizens helped saved lives or put “bad guys” behind bars, Haymaker said.

“If citizens realize that their call could save a life, we’ve succeeded,” he said.

The class is designed to improve communication between people and law enforcement officers, not to encourage them to act on their own.

Aside from identifying drunken drivers, the class also will focus on concerns about homeland security, human trafficking and drug crimes.

The class will be 3 to 4 p.m. Dec. 15 in the community room of the patrol’s Medina post, 3149 Frantz Road. To register, call Haymaker at (330) 725-4921.

Haymaker said the patrol plans to hold more classes if reception to the program is good.

Haymaker said citizens don’t have to attend the class to alert police about suspected criminal activity: They can call #677 to place a tip.

Contact reporter Nick Glunt at (330) 721-4048 or nglunt@medina-gazette.com.