State Ends Mental Health Center Police Forces

By
WOUB Staff Writer

Dateline
Updated Wed, May 16, 2012 8:23 am

For decades, Ohio's 10 mental health residential facilities have enjoyed an on-campus police force. 

But that run comes to an end next month 
 
The state says it can evolve and save millions, but some say safety and security may be jeopardized.
 
Custodian Nikki Jones is one of more than 400 employees and 175 residents at the Gallipolis Developmental Center (GDC). 
 
She says when her ex-husband recently violated a restraining order and stalked her on-campus with a can of gas, the Center Police Department came to the rescue.
 
But the state rationalizes that if there is little to no criminal activity occurring on the grounds, with evolving, the specialized police officer positions are no longer needed.
 
The state will replace the police with administrators to focus on residential abuse and neglect investigations.
 
Gallia County Sheriff Joe Browning says he doesn't have the manpower to pick up the slack.
 
The state says all police officer investigations will end on June 15.
 
Ohio says it will save more than $2 million during the next two years by eliminating 30 mental health police officers.
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