Senator Manning: Protecting Those In The Line Of Duty
By State Senator Gayle Manning
February 01, 2012
 
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Throughout the 129th General Assembly, lawmakers have taken action on a variety of diverse issues that impact our state. However, no issue will ever be more important than that of ensuring safety for our residents. It is an unequivocal truth that communities across Ohio are protected by a select few who choose to place the well-being of others ahead of their own. Of course, I am referring to the thousands of police officers who protect and serve our neighborhoods each day. Like so many of you, I have the pleasure of knowing many individuals who have devoted their careers to preserving peace in our community. Through selfless deeds and brave acts, they provide us all with the security that is needed to go about our daily lives. With that said, I am happy to report of a new effort aimed at providing our police officers with added safety while they are on duty. Senate Bill 258, which I am sponsoring alongside Senator Tom Patton of Strongsville, will establish a statewide Blue Alert system in Ohio. The initiative will prove vital in apprehending suspects who are believed to have either killed or seriously injured a police officer. In such a scenario, existing broadcast systems would be employed to send 'Blue Alerts' to the public in order to expedite the arrest of a violent criminal. The alert would include a description of the suspect's appearance as well as any other available information, such as details regarding their vehicle. The need for a system of this nature was first expressed to me by Lorain Police Chief Cel Rivera and Lorain FOP President Kyle Gelenius, and they have assisted in the formulation of the bill. Attorney General Mike DeWine has also endorsed the measure and many others have echoed a similar sentiment in recent months. To date, 13 other states have already enacted similar alert systems and the time has arrived for Ohio to take action. Acts of aggression and violence toward police officers are never isolated in scope. Rather, they serve as clear and dangerous threats to the public good. If a violent criminal shows no hesitation in harming a peace officer, surely he or she would not delay in targeting an average citizen. By implementing a Blue Alert system, Ohio would be provided with another tool in deterring violent and malicious crimes against society. In December, our legislation received unanimous, bipartisan approval from the full Senate Chamber. The bill is now being heard in the Ohio House and I am confident that my fellow legislators will see the urgency and necessity that this proposal warrants. Law enforcement officers throughout Ohio regularly face a multitude of danger and uncertainty. Not only are they officers or troopers or deputies, but they are also our spouses, our parents, and our children. We must stand guard for them, just as they do for us. On behalf of Senator Patton and myself, it has been our honor to craft this sound piece of legislation and I look forward to continuing our advocacy efforts in order to ensure its enactment into law. Tip of the Month: If a member of your family has fallen in the line of duty, please visit http://www.ohiocops.com/ for information regarding resources and support for Ohio residents.
Senator Gayle Manning represents the 13th Ohio Senate District, which encompasses Lorain and Huron counties and eastern portions of Seneca County. Her office can be reached by phone at (614) 644-7613 or by e-mailing SD13@senate.state.oh.us.
 
 
 
  
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