Bowling Green Police Division

BG police & fire train on new strategy for school shootings

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Last week while Bowling Green schools were closed for spring break, teams of police officers clad in protective vests and carrying AR-15 air soft training rifles trained in their hallways. By this week, all of the city’s police officers will have gone through rescue task force training. The point of the practice is to prepare police and EMS to work together to get medical help to victims of mass shootings as quickly as possible. “Time is so critical,” Bowling Green Police Chief Tony Hetrick said. On Friday afternoon, another team of police officers wrapped up their active shooter drill at Crim Elementary School. While they train annually for active shooters, this was the first time that police and firefighters/paramedics trained together. Police trained to go into the “hot zone,” to confront the shooters, and create an area in the nearby “warm zone” for EMS to take care of those injured. “Our entire role in all of this is to train the police officers to make a safe area,” so medical treatment doesn’t have to wait until the entire scene is cleared of risks, Bowling Green Fire Chief Bill Moorman said. “Our paramedics are escorted in to treat in the building, and not wait for patients to be brought out to us,” Moorman said. “It’s getting our people into the building faster than normal.” The rescue task force responses to mass shootings do not require EMS personnel to carry firearms. “We are the firefighters’ protection for tactical emergency medical services,” explained Bowling Green Police Deputy Chief Justin White as he stood outside Crim Elementary. The rescue task force training included every police officer and firefighter. “All our officers are getting trained this week,” Hetrick said. “Every single one will go through it,” Moorman said. Each of the training sessions was held in Crim Elementary, though Hetrick said his officers are familiar with every school building in the city. The rescue task force training…


BG gathers to discuss how to keep schools safe

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Teachers pleaded to be armed with adequate resources – not guns. Parents asked about mental health care for children. And others debated the value of arming a school for violence, or preventing it before it occurs. Though the last school shooting was far away in Parkland, Florida, the ripple effect is being felt at schools across the nation. Bowling Green Superintendent Francis Scruci has held eight expulsion hearings in the past week for students who have made threats of violence at school. Some threats were posted on social media, some blurted out in the school hallways, one uttered in anger while playing an Xbox game. “We have to take these seriously,” Scruci said. “I’ve got 3,100 kids I’m responsible for, and close to 400 staff I’m responsible for.” The school safety public forum Thursday evening was held as an open conversation with the community in the atrium of the Wood County District Public Library. The room was packed. The topic was touchy. But the forum was peaceful. “This type of event could happen anywhere,” Scruci said, talking about how schools and churches used to be safe places in the community. To make sure Bowling Green schools are as safe as possible, Scruci said he has been working closely with Police Chief Tony Hetrick and Fire Chief Bill Moorman, both who attended the forum. The district has taken steps such as limiting the times the schools are unlocked, reducing the number of open entrances at the beginning and end of the school day, changing the procedures for evacuating for a non-scheduled fire alarm, reviewing of lockdown plans with staff, talking with evening users of the schools buildings about not blocking open doors, promoting the anonymous tip line, and adopting a zero tolerance policy to threats. Scruci said he has walked the school buildings with emergency responders and State Senator Randy Gardner. “It’s not possible to make schools 100 percent safe,” Scruci said. “They…


Drunk man shot after entering wrong home is indicted

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   It was a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Bowling Green Police Division gets multiple calls a year about drunk college students wandering into the wrong homes after a night of drinking. Some are found sleeping on couches by the homeowners the next morning. But in this case, the homeowner was frightened in the middle of the night, was armed with a handgun, and shot the intoxicated intruder three times. Last year, at 1:05 in the morning on Dec. 22, police received a call from a resident in the 100 block of Liberty Street, Bowling Green, who reported two men had broken into his home and he shot to defend himself. Last week, a Wood County Grand Jury indicted Ty Krill, 21, of 610 N. Main St., Bowling Green, for trespassing in a habitation. The other man accompanying Krill on that night, Wade Sutton, 22, of Waterville, was not indicted. According to the police reports, the Liberty Street resident heard a noise at his front door, then at a side window. He grabbed a flashlight and his 9mm semi-automatic handgun, and headed downstairs.  He was headed for his phone in the den, since he only has two land-lines in his home. There, in the living room, he encountered Krill. There are conflicting stories in the police reports about the words exchanged, but the homeowner said the intruder came running at him. The homeowner shot Krill twice in the arm, then once in the lower back when Krill turned. He said he did not shoot at Sutton, who was standing with his arms raised. Both intruders ran from the home. When police arrived, they found blood on the steps by the back door, on the sidewalk and on the lawn. Officers followed the blood trail toward the rear of the property, over a fence and on toward West Evers Street. Police found Krill walking eastbound in the 100…


Firefighter and wife save man from jumping off overpass

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   An off-duty Bowling Green firefighter and his wife stopped a man from jumping off the East Wooster overpass at Interstate 75 late Saturday night. Steve and Dawn Tyda were on their way home from Columbus on Saturday, when they pulled off I-75 around 11 p.m. They saw a man standing on the overpass, facing the highway. Bowling Green Fire Chief Bill Moorman said Steve Tyda turned around and went back to the overpass and pulled up next to the man. Dawn Tyda asked the man if he was OK. “He said, ‘I’ll be OK in about four seconds when I jump,’” Moorman said. Dawn Tyda offered to talk or pray with the man, who turned back to the highway and leaned over the side. Meanwhile Steve Tyda came up behind the man and tackled him to keep him from going over onto I-75 below. Tyda held him down until police arrived. The man, a 49 year old Bowling Green resident, was taken to Wood County Hospital where he was checked out by Behavioral Connections. He was transported to Flower Hospital in Sylvania for evaluation. The man told police he had recently been suicidal. In the previous few days, he said he had attempted to hang himself, tried to sleep with a bag on his head, drank rust remover and stabbed himself in the stomach with a small paring knife. “If he went through with it and jumped, it would affect so many people,” Police Chief Tony Hetrick said. Last year a man did jump off the I-75 overpass, resulting in several vehicles hitting him on the roadway. “It was an absolutely horrific sight,” said Moorman, who helped distraught drivers who couldn’t avoid hitting the man who jumped. Moorman praised Tyda for helping the suicidal man on Saturday night. “It was somewhat heroic, with complete disregard for his own safety,” Moorman said.


Man arrested for pulling fire alarm and trying to kick in door at Crim Elementary

Bowling Green police and fire divisions responded to a fire alarm at Crim Elementary Thursday around 11 p.m. There was no fire, but they found a barefooted man trying to kick in a back door at the school. The man, Joe Schmidt, 53, of Third Street in Bowling Green, told police he was looking for his fishing pole because he wanted to go fishing, Police Chief Tony Hetrick said this morning. Hetrick said there was evidence of drug use by Schmidt. Prior to trying to kick in the back door at the school, Schmidt apparently had gotten in the front vestibule area of the elementary where he pulled the fire alarm. He was not able to get past the vestibule area into the school, Hetrick said. Barefoot marks were found on the school’s front door, and the doorbell had been broken, the chief said. Schmidt was charged with criminal trespassing and jailed at the Wood County Justice Center.


BG man linked to crimes by stolen panties and DNA on pizza crust

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Hundreds of bras and panties, DNA from a pizza crust and intricate handwritten notes have allegedly helped link a Bowling Green man to at least seven burglaries committed in the city over the last five years. Bradley Feasel, 33, of 236 S. Grove St., was indicted last week on 11 counts of burglary and one count of breaking and entering. Police believe there will likely be more charges as they continue to go through the evidence found at Feasel’s home. “It’s pretty alarming,” said Bowling Green Police Major Justin White. Police reportedly found a folder of handwritten notes at Feasel’s home, listing dates with names of females. Under the names were notes indicating the items that were taken and the method of entry into the residences. In one note under “Manville House,” it reportedly reads “all rooms masturbated.” At a home on Byall Avenue, a bullet point mentioned “red panties.” In some cases, women were sleeping at the homes when Feasel allegedly entered. On a few incidents when Feasel was seen by the residents, he was barefooted. Many of the victims reported to police that they believed their homes had been entered multiple times. Many were college students, who shared clothing with their roommates, so the disappearance of underwear was not initially noticed. Police said they also found a Google pin map, with handwritten notes on it. One notation reported said “65 enters.” After gaining search warrants for all of Feasel’s electronic devices, police found that Feasel had allegedly made Google searches for several of his victims. He also reportedly searched for them on Facebook, Pinterest, Linked In and MySpace. It also appears from the police reports that Feasel frequented a downtown bar where one of the victims was employed and other victims told police they often visited. This is not the first time for Feasel to face charges of illegally entering homes and taking women’s underwear. He served six months in…


Bitter cold takes toll on city workers and equipment

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Bowling Green residents count on city workers to plow snow off the roads, respond to car crashes, and keep the power on during winter weather. Doing that in bitter cold weather takes a toll on city equipment and on the people that operate it. Snow plow blades are more likely to break in this cold, police cruisers have to run continuously during shifts, and fire hoses have been known to freeze. “We subject our officers to being out in the elements for extended periods,” Police Chief Tony Hetrick said. That’s tough on people and patrol cars. Layering only does so much, and “they run constantly in the cold,” the chief said of the police cruisers. For the Fire Division, the frigid cold means EMS crews must move even faster for outside calls. “We need to move quickly to get patients out of the elements,” Fire Chief Tom Sanderson said. Firefighting is especially tricky in freezing temperatures. “We have to keep them flowing,” Sanderson said of the hoses. But that means the ground quickly gets covered in ice. The city’s public works department often spreads salt at winter fire scenes to try to give firefighters and their vehicles some traction. “We haven’t had to chisel our fire hose out of the ice yet this week,” Sanderson said. Public works crews face their own problems, with the extreme cold taking a toll on equipment, according to Municipal Administrator Lori Tretter. Snow plow blades tend to break very easily, she said. And trash containers become increasingly brittle and are more prone to breaking, she added. The city utilities department recommends its consumer-owners take the following precautions to help prevent water lines and meters from freezing this winter: Protect exposed pipes from cold air drafts by closing and sealing windows and openings in basements or crawlspaces. Protect your water meter by wrapping it with insulation or a blanket. Provide proper insulation for walls and pipes where…


Underwear thief charged with repeat offenses in BG

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Hundreds of bras and women’s underwear were found during a search of a Bowling Green man’s home after he was caught reportedly trying to break into an apartment. This is not the first time Bradley Feasel, 33, of 236 S. Grove St., was arrested with stolen underwear and bras in his home. He was sentenced to six months in 2004 after being caught stealing items from an apartment on the East Side of the city. In addition to stolen undergarments, in 2004 police also found a telescope in the trunk of Feasel’s car and a journal detailing how to watch attractive people and how to set up a hidden video camera. “This isn’t his first time,” Bowling Green Police Major Justin White said Friday. The Bowling Green Police Division is asking that any women who have had undergarments stolen to contact Sgt. Hartman at 419-352-1131. This past September, college students living in a house on East Merry Avenue reportedly found a man in their residence when they returned home around 1:30 in the morning. The man fled, leaving a pile of the women’s underwear and clothes under a window as he escaped. The women reported that they believed this to be the third or fourth time the man had entered their home. Later that same month, Feasel was arrested for trespassing in the 200 block of North Enterprise. In that case, the residents reportedly heard Feasel trying to enter by the front door. They called police, who apprehended Feasel outside the house. Feasel matched the description from the East Merry incident, so police executed a search warrant and found hundreds of bras and women’s underwear in his home. “We came across such a large amount of evidence, it’s taking a long time,” White said. The crime lab at the Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation is assisting with the local investigation. “I do expect more charges,” White added. Meanwhile, Feasel is being…


Here’s the scoop – cops meet with kids over ice cream

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   For more than a year now, Bowling Green Police Division has been meeting citizens over cups of hot coffee. On Friday, they tried something different – meeting them over bowls of ice cream, with chocolate sauce and sprinkles on top. “This is bigger than the Coffee with the Cops,” said Bowling Green Police Chief Tony Hetrick as he looked out over the room at the Wood County District Public Library, full of children eating ice cream and wearing police badge stickers. “We’re making you all honorary policemen today,” the chief told them. Police officers posed for photos with kids holding their bowls of ice cream. They answered questions about their jobs. Deputy Chief Justin White said he did not get the usual, “Have you shot somebody” question today. In fact, most of the questions were not about the two-legged officers, but about their four-legged canine officer named Arci. “He’s going to make an appearance,” assured Hetrick. The goal was to make the kids more comfortable around police officers in their community. “We’re here to help,” said Lt. Brad Biller. “The police officers in the community are here to serve them, not to be feared by them.” The officers have visited the library in the past to read to kids, but this visit was a little different. “We’ve invited the police officers before, but we’ve never thought of combining it with ice cream,” children’s librarian Maria Simon said. “What a great idea.” The ice cream, combined with the location, drew in a different and larger crowd, Lt. Dan Mancuso said. “We were trying to get other people,” not just the normal coffee crowd, Mancuso said. “It’s summertime, kids like ice cream.” And the long-term benefit may be more than the bowl of ice cream. “So if there are problems, they feel comfortable coming to us.” The hit of the day proved to be Arci, the Belgian Malinois canine cop. His handler, Sgt. Gordon…


BG police offer training for those selling alcohol

The Bowling Green Police Division will be providing Liquor Establish Employee Training (LEET) on Tuesday, Aug. 8. The training will be from 5 to 7 p.m. and will focus on civil liability, Ohio and Bowling Green liquor laws and fake ID recognition. Employees and management staff of local businesses (bars and retail outlets) that sell alcoholic beverages are invited to attend.


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.  


BG Police Division sees drop in use of force

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Bowling Green Police Division has seen a steady increase in community relations efforts, and a decrease in force being used by officers, according to Chief Tony Hetrick. Hetrick presented an annual report during a strategic planning meeting with City Council on Saturday. “We don’t police the community. We police for the community,” Hetrick said. Poor police-community relations nationwide peaked the last few years, causing several police departments to examine their relationships with those they serve. “Community engagement is a hot button topic all over the nation,” Hetrick said. That’s something Bowling Green Police Division has done for years, but they are also making an increased effort. “We can always do better.” Last year the “Coffee with a Cop” program started, efforts are being made to engage with BGSU students more, and police participated in a panel discussion on minority relations. Police also met with students in a class teaching English as a second language. “It really helped us build trust with them,” Hetrick said. In August, when new international students arrive at BGSU, the police will meet with the group again. “I think we enjoy tremendous trust in the community,” Hetrick said. The chief also presented his annual report on police force being used. In 2016, there were 21 responses to resistance or aggression reports filed by office. That is a decrease from the 40 reports in 2015. The officers’ reports showed that in 19 cases, no weapons were used. In two cases, Tasers were used. According to the reports, there were no incidents when officers used firearms, batons or pepper spray in 2016. The incidents requiring force were primarily dealing with cases of disorderly conduct and intoxication. Others involved suicide attempts, mental illness, warrant service, domestic violence, escape and assault. Force was used on white males the most, followed by white females. No other race was reported. Hetrick said his review of the reports showed no force being used outside division…


BG police get community relations certification

  Submitted by BOWLING GREEN POLICE DIVISION The Bowling Green Police Department (Wood County) has adopted and implemented state standards established by the Ohio Collaborative Community-Police Advisory Board as part of the state’s efforts to strengthen community and police relations. The agency joins nearly 120 other agencies who have become certified by meeting standards for the use of force, including deadly force, and agency recruitment and hiring. The standards are the first of their kind in Ohio and were developed by the Collaborative in August 2015. The state has partnered with the Buckeye State Sheriffs’ Association and the Ohio Association of Chiefs of Police to help certify Ohio’s nearly 1,000 law enforcement agencies on a process to ensure that they are in compliance with Ohio’s new standards. Certifications will continue throughout 2016. The first list of all Ohio compliant agencies will be published in March 2017. For more information on the Ohio Collaborative, the certification process for law enforcement and the complete list of agencies who have been certified, please visit: http://www.ocjs.ohio.gov/ohiocollaborative/


Police officials address issues of force, race & more during “Real Cops” panel

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The police in Bowling Green, either city or campus, don’t have to resort to using physical force very often. Bowling Green Police Chief Tony Hetrick said that in 90,000 interactions, officers on the BG force have used force 52 times, and BGSU Police Chief Monica Moll said her department’s experience was similar. Rodney Fleming, the managing attorney at Student Legal Services, said that if citizens looked at the statistics, they’d see how little physical force is used. Capt. Mike Campbell, who will be interim chief when Moll leaves BGSU at the end of the month, said that in looking at police conflicts that have been in the news, he sees faulty tactics in how the incidents were approached. More emphasis should be put on de-escalating a situation, and better communication, he said. They were part of the “It’s Just Us: Real Talk with Real Cops,” held Friday at Bowling Green State University, and sponsored by Not In Our Town. No matter how little force is used, all incidents are reported and looked at. “Even if it was a legal use of force,” Moll said, “maybe we could have used less.” Hetrick said each instance is looked at by more than one supervisor, including himself. “Nothing is going to be swept under the rug.” And, if citizens feel they have been unfairly treated, each department has a formal complaint process. If someone doesn’t trust the police to follow through, they can complain to other entities, Fleming said – city officials, his office, or Not In Our Town. Hetrick said those complaints will be taken seriously. “As police chief I want to know that’s going on.” The interactions between police and citizens are often tinged with distrust. Moll talked about the importance of following officers’ instructions. Citizens may know they are not a threat but the officer doesn’t. “There’s a lot of anxiety on both sides,” she said. “What I’m seeing is you have folks who have traditionally…


Review of BGPD shows very low use of force, few citizen complaints

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News There were enough chairs set up in the Simpson building Tuesday to seat every citizen who had filed a complaint against the Bowling Green Police Dvision in the past three years. And there would be room for more. None of them showed up when a visiting accreditation team from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc.  set up shop to receive citizens’ comments. City Councilman Bruce Jeffers was there. He said the police force is “positively engaged with the community.” In a time when there are so many reports of clashes between police and citizens with violence “going in both directions,” he is “amazed” how the BG officers “deal with large number of partying students … without losing control or using excessive force.” Planning Director Heather Sayler was there as a resident to praise the department, especially the D.A.R.E. program. Fire Chief Tom Sanderson was there to lend his support to Chief Tony Hetrick and the officers. He and his crews see first-hand BG police officers’ ability to de-escalate tense situations, which allows EMS crews and firefighters to feel safe doing their jobs. That camaraderie between the fire and police divisions is not always the case, said Robert Johnson, a retired Illinois State Patrol lieutenant colonel. Also on the CALEA team was Capt. Brad Fraser, from Shelby, North Carolina. Lt. Daniel Mancuso serves as the BGPD’s accreditation manager. That wasn’t the only surprising thing they found in reviewing the BG police’s performance from 2013 through 2015. Over that period, Johnson said, Bowling Green officers never used their firearms, nor did they use their batons. He called that “pretty surprising… given the climate the police operate in.” “This is far better than I expect to see,” Johnson said. “I’m more used to seeing force used more frequently and use of greater force.” In that three-year period, BG police made 8,000 arrests, and used force in 71 of those. Not a single lawsuit related to…