The Ohio Attorney General’s Office and law enforcement agencies throughout Ohio will take part in a national initiative to collect and properly dispose of prescription medications.
The National Prescription Drug Take Back Day is set for 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 29. It is being spearheaded by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.
Law changes assist crime victims
Two recent changes in state law represent positive developments for Ohio crime victims.
The Ohio Attorney General’s Office worked with legislators to remove a requirement that adult victims apply within two years of a crime to be eligible for compensation from the Crime Victims Reparations Fund. The change took effect Sept. 30.
Crime Victim Section Chief Alice Robinson-Bond said the deadline was arbitrary and resulted in many victims being denied compensation for no good reason.
“We found we had to deny victims compensation for legitimate expenses simply because they applied after the deadline, sometimes only a few weeks or months after it had passed,” Robinson-Bond said. “Plus, with DNA analysis helping to solve crimes long after the fact, victims often have to take off work or seek counseling outside that two-year window. This ensures that they can be reimbursed for those costs.”
Under the same bill, legislators removed a cap on the amount of money a law firm can be reimbursed for helping victims seek civil protection orders. The cap, put in place in 2009, had the unintended effect of limiting services to victims. This was particularly true in small and rural counties, where fewer attorneys handle civil protection orders.
The Attorney General’s Picking up the Pieces booklet, which law enforcement and prosecutors are required to provide to crime victims to advise them of their rights, is being revised to reflect the changes. To receive copies when they are available, contact Kelli Grace of the Crime Victim Section at Kelli.Grace@OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov or 614-995-4231.
For more information: Links to the compensation form and other services for victims can be found at www.OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov/Victim.
BCI enhances services with Athens office, unit addition
The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) has announced two steps to enhance services.
BCI now has an office in Athens that provides polygraph services and evidence intake. The office is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. General questions may be directed to Amanda Dillon at 740-249-4378. For polygraph services, call Matt Speckman at 740-249-4383.
The bureau also has assumed oversight for the Attorney General’s Missing Persons Unit. The move will enable the unit to respond more quickly to inquiries regarding missing children and adults and access additional investigative tools, such as databases dedicated exclusively to law enforcement, said Brent Currence, who oversees the unit.
The Attorney General’s Office prints information about specific missing persons cases on about 200,000 envelopes sent out every month by various sections of the office. The envelopes occasionally highlight older, unresolved missing children and adult cases in the hope that new information will surface, Currence said.
For information, visit www.OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov/MissingPersons.
Office emphasizes prosecution of human traffickers
When the newly convened Human Trafficking Commission met for the first time late this summer, Attorney General Mike DeWine made clear that his goal is to work with law enforcement to criminally prosecute human traffickers.
To achieve that, the Human Trafficking Commission was formed to build on the work started by the Trafficking in Persons Study Commission in 2009. That group examined human trafficking in Ohio and developed recommendations that led to Ohio’s stand-alone human trafficking law.
“The Human Trafficking Commission will use that information and take on the issue from a law enforcement perspective, raising public awareness and working to put traffickers behind bars,” DeWine said.
For assistance on human trafficking investigations, contact the Bureau of Criminal Investigation at 855-BCI-OHIO (224-6446). To inquire about assistance with prosecuting cases, contact Associate Assistant Attorney General Emily Pelphrey at Emily.Pelphrey@OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov or 614-644-0729. Information also is available at www.OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov/HumanTrafficking.
OPOTA offers basic peace officer training course in early 2012
OPOTA will conduct a Peace Officer Basic Training School Jan. 17–May 4 at the academy’s main campus in London.
Applicants must obtain a peace officer appointment and be employed by a law enforcement agency prior to the start of the course.
For information, contact James “Doug” Daniels at 740-845-6304 or James.Daniels@OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov. Registration forms are at www.OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov/OPOTARegistration.