The Put-in-Bay police department already has a public relations problem, which are self-created, in our view, and stem from poor leadership of the department.
Complaints about everything from false arrests to harassing local business owners to ignoring serious criminal complaints have dogged the PIB police for months, without any adequate response from Chief Ric Lampella or village law director George Wilber.
Lampella and Wilber both appear to be ignoring the business owners who filed the complaints, and ignoring the residents who claim they were falsely arrested and are ignoring nearly every questions raised by the Register's reporters and editors.
Both Lampella and Wilber should have tried more diligently to provide credible responses to the serious concerns raised and documented about the police department.
Instead, it appears Wilber instructed the police department to change how they file and report crime on the island. Those instructions were either misinformed or they were misunderstood by the police officers, because reports filed recently by the department do not appear to follow the requirements of state law.
There's a reason police departments are required to fully document their activities: To protect the public from false arrests and false evidence. Wilber and Lampela need to take immediate steps to assure PIB police officers are properly documenting their work, and properly protecting residents and visitors from an overzealous and ill-trained police force.