Officers with the Defiance Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol now have a second home.
For several months now, OHP officers from the Defiance post have been using the Ohio Department of Transportation Williams County garage as a “subpost,” according to Lt. Robert Ashenfelter, Defiance post commander of the Ohio State Highway Patrol, and Richard Shatzer, ODOT Montpelier garage transportation administrator, who helped initiate the agreement.
Ashenfelter said the OHP’s Defiance post covers both Defiance and Williams counties, so having a subpost in the ODOT garage gives OHP officers a centralized place in Williams County to work out of when necessary.
The subpost agreement formalizes the working relationship between two state agencies, Shatzer said.
“It really just makes a lot of sense and it helps everyone. It’s about state agencies working together to present a unified front within the state,” Shatzer said.
The ODOT garage also has agreements with the villages of Edgerton and Stryker to share equipment and facilities when necessary. Shatzer said he hopes to complete a shared facilities/equipment agreement with Bridgewater Township in the near future.
The agreement with ODOT was formalized several months ago and it’s been working extremely well, Ashenfelter said.
“Officers now are able to stop in and update their paperwork and their communications, use the facilities and just generally build relationships that will help us serve the public in Williams County better. We couldn’t be more pleased how well it’s working,” Ashenfelter said.
The OHP is a division of the Ohio Department of Public Safety, administered by a director who holds a cabinet-level position in state government. The OHP’s mission is to protect life and property, promote traffic safety and provide professional public safety services, according to www.statepatrol.ohio.gov.
The patrol maintains a uniformed complement of about 1,600 officers, plus about 1,000 support personnel, including load limit inspectors, motor vehicle inspectors, motor carrier enforcement inspectors, dispatchers, electronics technicians and civilian specialists complete the patrol’s personnel strength.
ODOT is headquartered in Columbus and is responsible for developing and maintaining all state and federal roadways in the state of Ohio, with exception of the Ohio Turnpike. ODOT, founded in 1905, employs more than 6,000 people, according to www.dot.state.oh.us.