BG police and businesses rescue ducklings in storm drain

It was Bowling Green, not Boston. And four ducklings, not eight. And it wasn’t Officer Michael coming to the rescue. But Bowling Green had its own version of “Make Way for Ducklings” this past weekend. Four ducklings were rescued from a storm drain on South Main Street by Bowling Green Police officers, and employees from O’Reilly Auto Parts and Circle K South. An engine hoist from O’Reilly was used to lift the storm drain grate, then the ducklings were coaxed toward the opening with hot dog buns from Circle K South. Police officers then lifted the ducklings out. The young ducks were reunited with their mother, who then led them back to the wooded area near Kenwood Elementary School.  

BGSU student dies in triple homicide (updated)

A 18-year-old Bowling Green State University student was one of the victims in a triple homicide. Kylie Pifer, a biology major, was found murdered Sunday at 8 p.m. in a North Royalton home along with her mother, Suzanne Taylor, 45, and her sister, Taylor Pifer, 21, a student at Kent State. The three women were found shot in a bedroom in the homem according to cleveland.com. The mother had also been stabbed. Police have apprehended a 45-year-old man who is a suspect in the killings, and may be connected to another recent double murder. (http://www.cleveland.com/north-royalton/index.ssf/2017/06/north_royalton_triple_homicide.html ) In a state to the BGSU community, Thomas J. Gibson, vice president for student affairs and vice provost wrote: “Kylie had completed her freshman year at the University and lived in Offenhauer Residence Hall. ” He also noted that those wishing to can send condolences to sympathy@bgsu.edu. “Counselors are available to help the campus community cope with this loss,” he wrote. The BGSU Counseling Center is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.Monday–Friday, or can be reached by phone at 419-372-2081.

BG police seeking suspect who passed counterfeit $100

The Bowling Green Police Division is seeking assistance in identifying a fraud suspect. On 5/30/17 at approximately 10:20 pm, an unknown male passed a counterfeit $100 bill at Circle K gas station located at 1602 E. Wooster Street, Bowling Green, Ohio.  The suspect is described as a late 20’s to early 30’s,  6-foot tall, 185-200 lb black male with chin hair.  The suspect was wearing all black and blue tennis shoes. If you have any information related to this crime, please contact BGPD at 419-352-1131 or Wood County Crime Stoppers 419-352-0077.  You may be eligible for a reward if the information leads to a conviction.

BG police investigating thefts from vehicles

The Bowling Green Police Division is investigating a series of thefts from vehicles over the past two weeks.  The stolen property includes but is not limited to electronics, money, and personal items. A majority of these thefts in our community occur as crimes of opportunity. Therefore, citizens are reminded to remove articles of value from their unoccupied vehicles and to keep their vehicles secured (windows up, sunroofs secured, convertible tops closed, and door locks locked). Anyone having any information related to these incidents is encouraged to contact the Police Division at (419) 352-2571 or Wood Co. CrimeStoppers at (419) 352-0077 or (800) 54-CRIME.  Persons contacting Wood Co. CrimeStoppers have the opportunity to remain anonymous and are eligible for a reward of up to $1000 if the information that they provide proves to be pertinent to the case.  

County salutes police who lost lives while on duty

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   The bell sounding the last alarm was rung 12 times Thursday for the 12 law enforcement officers in Wood County who have died in the line of duty while serving local citizens. Dating back more than 120 years, the officers lost their lives to gunfights, car crashes and drowning. “We are reminded how dangerous it is each and every day,” Bowling Green Mayor Dick Edwards said to all the law enforcement members attending. The Wood County Commissioners thanked those who gave their lives for the citizenry. State Rep. Theresa Gavarone, R-Bowling Green, spoke of an Ohio Highway Patrol trooper who died 50 years ago when he was in pursuit of two speeding vehicles on the turnpike near Ohio 795. He was just 22 years old. “Obviously police officers face dangers every time they put on their uniforms,” she said. Gavarone was critical of the media for inaccurately portraying law enforcement, by focusing on the negative not the positive actions by police. “I wish some attention would be paid to the good things you guys do,” she said. Gavarone mentioned two pieces of legislature affecting law enforcement and first responders. House Bill 115 is designed to improve communication between law enforcement and motorists with communication problems. The bill creates a system for information on drivers with communication difficulties to be accessed by law enforcement as soon as a vehicle is stopped. The other legislation increases penalties against people who harm first responders and other emergency workers as they respond to incidents. “Our police officers should be given all the tools possible to do their jobs effectively,” she said. Gavarone also praised the work of the local Fraternal Order of Police, for their efforts with children doing Christmas shopping, fishing and holding movie nights. “We all owe people like you and Trooper Birchem an immeasurable amount of gratitude,” she said. Following is a list of the 12 law enforcement members in Wood County who died in the line of duty: Patrolman Jesse Baker, North Baltimore Police. On June 19, 1896, Baker and his faithful dog responded to the post office as three men were breaking in. During an exchange of gunfire, Baker was shot and died as a result of his injuries. Marshal Frank Thornton, Perrysburg Police Department. On Dec. 28, 1905, Thornton was told that five wanted individuals were at the Krauss Restaurant, so he went to confront them. During an exchange of gunfire, Thornton was struck by a bullet. He was taken by a street car to Toledo Hospital. He later died due to an infection from his wounds. His last spoken words were: “I hope the people of Perrysburg are satisfied that I have done my duty.” Patrolman Austin Harman, Bowling Green Police Department. On May 13, 1919, Harman was accidentally shot when the revolver dropped from the holster of his partner, Officer E.J. Alkire. The officers were removing a pile of lumber that was creating a driving hazard for motorists. Harman was shot in the groin and died shortly after. Deputy Ellsworth Beaverson, Wood County Sheriff’s Office. Beaverson was known for his active enforcement against alcohol peddlers in the area. On Aug. 27, 1927, he was on patrol riding his sheriff’s motorcycle on southern Ohio 25. A Studebaker pulled into…

Not In Our Town hears of community policing updates

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   In response to national issues of improper community policing, Ohio developed standards for its police departments. The first two standards were to be met by March 31, 2017. Both Bowing Green and Bowling Green State University police divisions met those standards of training on use of force, and on complying with proper recruiting, hiring and screening processes. “Standards are a good thing,” Bowling Green Police Chief Tony Hetrick said during a recent Not In Our Town meeting when the policing standards were discussed. “There are a lot of small agencies that don’t even have policies,” and some large agencies that don’t follow the policies they have, the chief said. Of the police departments in Ohio, nearly 80 percent are in the process of meeting the state standards. There are a total of 14 policies set by the state – with three to be met each year from here on. The three to be achieved this year involve community engagement, dispatch training and body cameras. Both the city and campus police engage the community during “Coffee with Cops” events. Hetrick said police department are not mandated to have body cameras. Bowling Green’s division recently updated its in-car cameras, but doesn’t have the funding for body cameras, he added. “It’s something I’m open to. I think they are a good thing,” the chief said. But in addition to the camera expenses, there are also costs for data storage and privacy policies that some police departments are struggling to define. Hetrick said the in-car cameras have proved valuable in refuting false claims from suspects and in helping with disciplinary action against officers. To provide body cameras for patrol officers, Hetrick estimated it would cost about $1,000 each – so about $18,000 for just the hardware. Then there would be another $20,000 to $30,000 needed for data storage, the chief said. If the funds were available, the chief said he would like the police division to be equipped with the body cameras. Both Hetrick and BGSU Police Chief Mike Campbell were asked if their officers had received training in “implicit bias.” “Implicit bias was covered in community policing,” Campbell said. The training requirements have increased from just a couple hours, to 14 hours currently, and to be increased to 40 hours by 2020. “It’s definitely on everybody’s mind,” Campbell said of the training to reduce implicit bias. Also at the Not In Our Town meeting, member Julie Broadwell spoke about the services offered by the Cocoon for victims of domestic and sexual violence. Help is available 24/7 by calling the crisis hotline at the Link at 419-352-1545. Staff respond to the hospital, to police stations, to wherever the victims need in Wood County. “Our advocates respond to the scene,” Broadwell said. She also stressed that Cocoon staff are not mandated to report incidents. “Confidentially is big” for many victims, she said. NIOT members discussed the need to make BGSU student, faculty and staff more aware of the Cocoon services. On another topic, Rev. Gary Saunders mentioned that with the passage of a “welcoming community” resolution by the city of Bowling Green, efforts may now turn to asking Wood County officials to adopt a similar resolution.

Memorial Service for fallen police officers, May 18

From THE WOOD COUNTY FRATERNAL ORDER OF POLICE The Wood County Police Memorial Service will be held on Thursday May 18, 2017 at 12:00 Noon. This service will be held on the front steps of the Wood County Court House. The Wood County Fraternal Order of Police will be paying special tribute to Ohio State Highway Patrol Trooper Jon Birchem. This year marks the 50th year Anniversary of when Trooper Birchem was killed in the line of duty. Here in Wood County, there has been 12 law enforcement officers that have died in the line of duty dating back to 1896. The most recent officer killed in the line of duty in Wood County was back in 1984. Ohio House Representative Theresa Gavarone will provide our Memorial Address. Further, Wood County Commissioners Doris Herringshaw, Craig LaHote, Ted Bowlus, and Bowling Green Mayor Dick Edwards will present Proclamations for this annual Wood County Police Memorial Service. Officers from all police departments from Wood County will be participating in the service. This service is a combined effort of the Wood County Fraternal Order of Police and the Wood County Commissioners. In case of inclement weather, this service will be head in the Atrium Room at the court house. This service is open to the public.  

New public safety director sees BGSU police headed in the right direction

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News As a veteran of the Bowling Green State University police force, new Chief Mike Campbell is confident the department is headed in the right direction. Campbell has been with the force since April, 2011, when he was hired by then Chief Monica Moll as a patrol captain. When Moll left last fall to become director of public safety at Ohio State University, he was named interim chief and earlier this week hired as the permanent replacement. In an interview, Thursday, Campbell said: “We are moving in a positive direction.” That includes being in the process of seeking accreditation. Recently Campbell has been one of the campus officials called on to address how BGSU handles cases of sexual assault. The issue was pushed to the fore by a victim who complained on Facebook about how she was treated, prompting a protest late in the semester. The complaints did not target the police, still Campbell said that it is always worthwhile to look at ways to improve police procedures. The Task Force on Sexual Assault that was created by President Mary Ellen Mazey in the wake of the protest offers such an opportunity. “The major focus of the task force is to look at the process we have and evaluate what we’ve done,” Campbell said. This would include looking at “new and inventive ways” of handling sexual assault “as well as for prevention and education opportunities that can be focused on.” This issue is just one of many where the university police must interact with the separate procedures regulating student conduct. This could mean dual investigations into the same incident. “Our partnerships here at BGSU have been very strong,” Campbell said. Campbell, 44, has made his career in higher education law enforcement. He grew up in Bedford, Michigan, and was attracted to police work while in high school. He studied public safety at Adrian College and did an internship with the Lenawee County Sheriff’s Office. After graduating he had several job opportunities and landed at the University of Toledo as a patrol officer. He did become a supervisor and stayed there until coming to BGSU. He also has a Master of Science in criminal justice from BGSU. All police, regardless of the setting, share an overarching goal, he said. “We all have the same focus and drive as far as safety and security in our community.” Most common offenses they deal with relate to alcohol, thefts, and minor drug charges. The college community is different, both because so much of it is the same age, and that never changes. Also because of the diversity of the population. Students come to BGSU from across the country and around the world. Campbell said an officer never knows what a person’s previous interactions with police have been like. “An international student may not be aware of what law enforcement looks like in the United States,” Campbell said. “We definitely work hard build those relationships.” Students are here to earn a degree and graduate. “I’ve always looked at our department as another member of the support system that helps them achieve that goal. Paramount is safety and security, but it doesn’t stop there.” Officers are assigned to different areas of the campus to work with different segment of the student…

BGSU turns to Campbell to lead public safety

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News   Bowling Green State University has turned to an insider to fill the position of police chief and director of public safety. In a letter to BGSU faculty, staff and students, Vice President for Finance and Administration Sheri Stoll announced that Michael Campbell, who has been serving as the interim chief since last October, has been named as permanent chief. The university conducted a nationwide search, eventually selecting three finalists. In addition to Campbell, the search committee interviewed candidates from Northeast Ohio and Ann Arbor. Campbell took over as interim chief when Monica Moll left BGSU to become director of public safety at Ohio State University. It was Moll who hired Campbell as a patrol captain in April, 2011. According to Stoll’s message: “In his time at BGSU, his leadership has been critical in creating important training and professional development programs and opportunities for his officers.” He serves on a number of campus and town-gown committees, including Not in Our Town. Campbell takes over as the campus is being roiled by complaints about how sexual assaults are being handled by the university. Campbell participated in press briefings and interviews about the issue, explaining the department’s procedures. He said on the day of a protest that drew 200 people that he is always looking at ways to improve how the department does things. During another interview, he said, that his officers will do what they can to assist victims, including accompanying them to the Bowling Green City Police of the assault occurred off campus. Sexual assault cases, whether or not they are prosecuted, are also investigated by the university’s Title IX office. After graduating from Adrian College with a degree in criminal justice, Campbell started his career in law enforcement at the University of Toledo. He has a Master of Science in criminal justice from BGSU.

Suspect found in BG Starbucks bomb threat

After a bomb threat was called into the Starbucks at 1560 E. Wooster St., Bowling Green, this morning shortly after 10, Bowling Green Police detectives were able to identify the source of the phone call as Erik Perez, 36, of Laredo, Texas. Laredo detectives were contacted and paid a visit to Perez, who admitted making the bomb threat. According to Bowling Green Police Major Justin White, Perez has special needs, limited capacity to understand the implications of his actions, and lives with his mother. The Laredo detectives explained the seriousness of the bomb threat to Perez. White said Bowling Green Police Division has no plans to file charges against Perez. The bomb threat call came in at 10:07 this morning, with a Starbucks employee then calling 911 to notify police and the building was evacuated. By 10:11 a.m., the bomb-sniffing canine from Bowling Green State University was requested. The dog arrived on the scene at 10:27 a.m., checked out Starbucks, the neighboring Chipotle, and cars in the parking lot. The canine found no bombs or suspicious packages, and the businesses were allowed to open again at 10:50 a.m.

Safe Communities reviews five fatal crashes

Wood County Safe Communities held their quarterly Fatal Data Review on Tuesday, April 4. Five crashes were reviewed from the first quarter of 2017. The crashes reviewed were:  Rte 6 at Wapakoneta Rd.  2111 E. Wooster St. in Bowling Green  I-280 at Mile Post 1  Curtice and Wheeling in Northwood  I-75 at Mile Post 170 The countermeasures established as a result of these crashes are as follows:  Always wear your seatbelt  Do not drive at an excessive speed  Always be attentive when driving  Always obey all traffic control devices  Do not drive impaired  Always secure children properly in approved Child Restraints For more information, please contact Lt. Angel Burgos, Ohio State Highway Patrol, at 419-352-2481

Faculty members urge BGSU to be a leader in addressing sexual violence

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Sandra Faulkner wants Bowling Green State University to be the leader in combating sexual assault on campus. The director of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies hopes that the recent protests over the way BGSU handles sexual assault will lead to innovation, not duplication of other universities’ “best practices.” “No institution in higher education handles sexual violence well,” she said. Faulkner and her colleague Sarah Rainey, an associate professor in the School of Cultural and Critical Studies, met with Dean of Students Jodi Webb Friday in the wake of a protest that drew about 200 students. In their meeting with Webb, Faulkner and Rainey brought with them a list of actions, drafted by members of the Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies faculty, that BGSU could take immediately to start addressing the problem. On Monday President Mary Ellen Mazey announced the formation of Task Force on Sexual Assault. Rainey is one of 17 members appointed to the task force. The task force includes faculty, staff, students, the student member of the Board of Trustees, and a representative from The Cocoon. (http://bgindependentmedia.org/mazey-to-launch-task-force-on-sexual-assault/) According to President Mary Ellen Mazey’s letter announcing its creation, the task force’s charge is: “to review our policies and procedures for Title IX and sexual assault, benchmark our efforts against best practices across the country, and provide recommendations to improve the campus culture and our policies. In addition, the task force will examine our services for supporting sexual assault victims and evaluate our awareness and prevention efforts.” Both Faulkner and Rainey were encouraged by the composition of the task force. Faulkner is concerned about the word “benchmark.” “We shouldn’t be benchmarking with anyone,” she said. “We should innovate. We should do more.” Other institutions should be looking to BGSU as the model. While the Task Force is expected to gather before summer, Rainey said she expects the work to start in earnest in August when the fall semester begins. It would be hard to meet throughout the summer given faculty and students are not always on campus. They indicated a report would be made by the end of the year. Before then they and their colleagues and students would like certain steps to be taken. The university must do a better job of educating students about the issue. That would include information about prevention as well as what options are available to victims. All student victims have the right to have a victim’s advocate. That service is through The Cocoon, and is paid for by the Cocoon through a grant. Faulkner and Rainey propose the university fund the position because grant funding is by its nature uncertain. “We should do more to help promote and support that position,” Rainey said. “That role is incredibly important. They are going to make sure that the victim knows all her options.” “The system can be overwhelming for a student to navigate,” Faulkner said. That’s why having a neutral party is important. The position, however, should remain at the Cocoon to avoid the perception that university employees are looking out more for the institution’s interests than those of the victim. In an interview Friday, three university officials involved in investigating sexual assault discussed the university’s handling of such cases. They said they could not comment on specific issues…

Woman reports assault by man acting as Uber driver

On Sunday (April 30) at 3:49 a.m. the Bowling Green Police Division responded to an alleged abduction and gross sexual imposition. Upon arrival officers contacted the complainant who alleged she was picked up by a subject who purported being an Uber driver in the area of 100 block of South Enterprise. The complainant alleges the driver acted as though he was unfamiliar with the area and he drove her around the city. While driving randomly through the city the driver parked his vehicle and got on top of the complainant groping her over her clothes. The complainant advised that she told the driver, “No.” The driver stopped groping her and proceeded to drive her around the city. The complainant alleged that she was able to jump out of the vehicle and run to her residence. Once at her residence the complainant reported the incident to her friends and then contacted the Bowling Green Police Division. The complainant described the driver as a black male, in his 20s, appeared to be taller than 5 feet 10 inches, weighing more than 250 pounds with short hair, unshaved face, wearing sweatpants. The vehicle the suspect was driving was described as a four door newer white Ford car. Anyone with information regarding this case can call the Bowling Green Police at (419) 352-2571 or Wood County Crime Stoppers at (419) 352-0077. Uber provides these safety tips on its website: To keep riders safe, we vet Uber driver-partners and build our technology with safety in mind. But there are also things that you as a rider can do to ensure your safety. We worked with law enforcement to create this list of tips to help you stay safe while riding with Uber. Plan ahead. Before you request a ride, think about where you’re headed and review the safety features in the app so you know how to use them. Request your ride inside. Avoid spending unnecessary time outside alone with your phone in your hand. Instead, wait indoors until the app shows your driver has arrived. Get in the right car. Before you get in the car, check that license plate, driver photo, and driver name all match what’s listed in the app. Uber rides can only be requested through the app, so never get in a car with a driver who claims to be with Uber and offers a ride. Be a backseat rider. If you’re riding alone, sit in the backseat. This ensures you can safely exit on either side of the vehicle to avoid moving traffic, and it gives you and your driver some personal space. Buckle up. The Centers for Disease Control reports that seatbelt use is the most effective way to save lives and reduce injuries related to car accidents. Share your trip details with a friend. While en route, tap “Share status” in the app to share your driver’s name, photo, license plate, and location with a friend or family member. They can track your trip and see your ETA without downloading the Uber app. Protect your personal information. There’s no need to share your phone number or other contact information with your driver. If a rider and driver need to contact each other, the Uber app automatically anonymizes both phone numbers to protect everyone’s privacy. Follow your intuition….

Protest blasts BGSU’s handling of reports of sexual violence

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News One in five women on college campuses have been sexually assaulted. Those numbers got a voice Thursday when about 200 students gathered in front of the student union at Bowling Green State University to protest what they said was the lack of response to instances of rape. They chanted and carried homemade signs. One after another, people who had been assaulted stepped into the circle, picked up with megaphone and told their stories. Some happened before the speakers had come to BGSU. Some happened here. Others offered words of support, and expressions of anger. Felita Guyton said she was assaulted in October 2015. She dropped the case, she said, when it was clear it would not be pursued. She told those gathered that she felt like the university thinks the careers of those accused are more important than those they have victimized. No one, she said, should be made to feel their body is not their own, or “have an out-of-body experience as they are being attacked.” Speaking out was difficult, Guyton said later. She wasn’t sure she could do it. But in the end it was something that had to be said. “I needed to do it now.” The protest was sparked by a post on Facebook by first year student Chelsea Halm expressing dissatisfaction with the way her complaint was handled by the university. Her post prompted a number of comments, including from Allie Dyer who suggested the rally. Halm attended the rally, but did not speak. She said she was not involved in organizing it. Afterward, Halm said, that initially she understood that the university could not pursue the matter. “I had no actual proof,” she said. “I didn’t go to the hospital.” But, she said: “When he continued harassing me, and they didn’t do anything that was ridiculous.” Halm decided to speak out. “I was happy that there were a lot of people who shared their stories and spoke out against the school.” Halm said she was planning to take “time off to heal,” and then she will enroll in another college to study nursing. She is contemplating further action against BGSU. “There are further steps I am taking, but I can’t really comment on them.” Jacqueline Adams, a PhD student in American Culture Studies, said she is putting together legal action under federal Title IX legislation. She has several women who have been assaulted at BGSU who have already signed on as complainants. Adams said she approached the dean of student’s office earlier to discuss changes in their procedures. When someone reports, for example, they should be able to ask for someone of a gender identity they are comfortable with. Now they hear back from a male. She also asked that the board that oversees the reporting process include one person identified as a victim of sexual assault. Adams is herself a victim. She was assaulted 13 years ago while at the University of Kentucky. It took her 10 years to finally speak about the experience. She admires those who stepped forward at the rally. Dyer called for harsher discipline for those accused of sexual assault.  “There are a lot of victims out there whose rapists are still on campus,” she said. “The university needs to expel them.” Asked…

Man reports being robbed of his car at gunpoint in BG

A man has reported being robbed of his car at gunpoint in Bowling Green. On Tuesday, April 25, at 10:37 p.m., the Bowling Green Police Division took a report of an aggravated robbery that occurred in the 200 block of Baldwin Avenue in Bowling Green. According to the victim, he posted his white 2009 Mercedes GL320 for sale on Craigslist, Letgo, and OfferUp.  A potential buyer contacted him and they met in the 1500 block of East Wooster Street at approximately 10 p.m.  The victim described the subject as a 5’10”-6’ tall light-skinned black male in his 20s who was wearing gray sweat pants and a beanie-style hat.  The male requested to take a test drive of the vehicle.  The victim got in the passenger seat and allowed the unknown male to operate the vehicle.  The male drove to the 200 block of Baldwin Avenue, pulled out a black semi-automatic handgun, and pointed it at the victim’s head.  The male demanded the victim exit the vehicle, which he did.  The male then fled the scene in the vehicle.  The victim’s vehicle displayed Ohio temporary registration D259590. Anyone with information regarding this case can call the Bowling Green Police at 419-352-2571 or Wood County Crime Stoppers at 419-352-0077.  You may remain anonymous and if information results in the arrest and conviction of a suspect, you could be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.