Erie County revisits Drug Task Force idea

Local law enforcement leaders want to form another version of the defunct Erie County Drug Task Force.
Andy Ouriel
May 25, 2011


Local law enforcement leaders want to form another version of the defunct Erie County Drug Task Force.

The Register learned area police chiefs and Erie County Sheriff Terry Lyons discussed the formation of a task force in two early May meetings.

The newly proposed task force would attempt to eliminate drugs and gun violence occurring in the community.

Ever since the March 19 slaying of Sandusky police Officer Andrew Dunn, talks to form a new task force have emerged, Huron police Chief John Majoy said,“This is certainly the culmination of it,”.

Also, Majoy said, “(The meetings) weren’t necessarily to revitalize the task force, but it was to address the ongoing issues that the city of Sandusky has with regards to the shootings and the overall gun violence over the last couple of years.”

But a lack of funding remains the biggest obstacle to recreating the task force, which has been disbanded for almost half a decade.

By a two-to-one margin, Erie County residents voted down a proposed 0.25 percent sales tax increase to fund the task force.

The last time voters approved a sales tax increase was in 1993. The rate is still 6.5 percent in Erie County.

County commissioners, meanwhile, say they’re against any sales tax increase to fund the task force in 2011. All three opposed any such increase when they were asked about it on Friday.

“It’s a difficult sale to the public right now,” commissioner Tom Ferrell said. “I’m not sure that’s one of our
No. 1 priorities.”

Said commissioner Pat Shenigo: “There are other ways we should explore this with the cooperation of other communities. The citizens have already turned this down once, so I think there are other venues, other than a tax increase, which we could accomplish this goal.”

The previous task force pooled resources, including sharing officers and vehicles among area police departments.

And that’s the same way it should be done if a task force reemerges in the near future, commissioner Bill Monaghan said.

Still, it’s unfair to raise sales taxes to fund the task force when crimes rarely occur in areas such as Groton, Florence and Oxford townships, commissioners said.

The county previously gave the task force $300,000 a year to operate, Ferrell said.

Lack of funding, however, isn’t the only issue that led to the task force’s demise.

“Some didn’t see the value in continuing the drug task force,” Erie County prosecutor Kevin Baxter said. “I don’t want to get into it, but there was some nonparticipation — some of the chiefs of police.”


In 2006, Erie County voters rejected a proposed sales tax increase to fund the drug task force.

The proposed increase would also have provided additional revenue for the county’s everyday operating budget and operating the Erie County Jail.

Of nearly 30,000 people who cast a vote on the levy, about 62 percent rejected the proposal:

• For the tax increase: 11,588 (38 percent)

• Against the tax increase: 18,742 (62 percent)
source: Erie County board of elections


The task force first formed in 1989. Area communities with police departments, such as Sandusky, contributed its own officers to work on the task force.

Personnel would then seek out suspected perpetrators. Authorities attempted to catch suspects in the act of selling drugs or engaging in other illegal activities. The task force disbanded shortly after voters rejected a levy that proposed to fund it.



I belive the tax payers are right in not wanting their taxes raised but on the other hand how can people put a price on the safety of our neighborhoods that have children where all these shooting and drug deals are going on ,I speak for my self I would vote for the tax increase if it ment my childrens safety and that THE PEOPLE OF SANDUSKY TAKE BACK YOUR NEIGHBOR HOODS AND BLOCKS FOR THE SAFETY OF THE CHILDREN.AND ALL


This is BULL

Put a .25% increase on the ballot for the drug task force.  Providing the increase goes ALL toward the drug task force.  Must show last working pay stub to VOTE.  God forbid someone that cant work but can get their hands on drugs and guns vote NO.  Lets see what happens when ya pay a little more to buy cigars and beer.  At least everyone will be included.  Lets Do It.  I'll Vote YES.  SAVE MY City.

Captain Gutz

"Still, it’s unfair to raise sales taxes to fund the task force when crimes rarely occur in areas such as Groton, Florence and Oxford townships, commissioners said."

Where they grow the weed.


I would vote yes in a heartbeat!!  Its a small price to pay for our safety!



2     Capt. Gutz , make weed legal. Tax it , use those $$ & go after the bad s*i*.

Julie R.

"Some didn't see the value in continuing the drug task force," Erie County prosecutor Kevin Baxter said. "I don't want to get into it but there was some nonparticipation --- some of the chiefs of police."

Is Kim Nuesse one of the police chiefs that he's referring to?  


Government WANTS your money!  It is perfectly OK to DEMAND everyone PAY OUT for yet ANTOHER expense or DREAM someone else wants.  The task force will NEVER come close to "eliminate drugs and gun violence."  NEVER!!  That is total, liberal "hope and change" tripe.  There is NO way to measure results.  The reason WHY the levy failed the last time is because the PEOPLE can NOT spend anymore.  Oh, your governments, UNIONS and schools WANT to spend more.  It is the simple, liberal crybaby premise of more money for more liberal failure.  It is OK to spend money and DEMAND everyone think like YOU?  Put it up for a vote and see just how your magnificence in thinking will go.  In order for YOU to FEEL GOOD, wonderful and safe, it is OK to DEMAND everyone pay out for a drug task force?  What happened to that story in the Register about having TOO MANY cops around??  An operating levy for safety forces would have a better chance at passing.  When Curt Muehling ran the task force, they rocked.  Since he left it morphed into another venue to waste time and money and the PEOPLE decided against it because it FAILED to get good results or to eliminate ANY drug or gun violence!  Each LE agency can develop their own task force and cooperate with each other without BEGGING the people for more money.  "I'll Vote YES" for a drug task force, a SWAT team, a K-9 team, more school crossing guards, a tank, an airplane, more, More, MORE!!  Ha! Ha!  It is exactly like the conundrum to pass ANOTHER school levy, "It is for the little children, it is for the poor little children."  "It will MAKE me FEEL safe and FEEL good."  I am sure it will!  Ha! Ha! 


Most ot the Drug Task Force money went fto pay high salaries.


Taxpayer maybe you need a big fat one in your mouth & lit up?     Relax fer cryin out loud.


I'm 100% for the formation of a drug task force, as long as one person controls it. And to answer your question Julie R. The other Chief that took his football and went home was Nuesse's BFF that will be going bye-bye on June 1st to do time on his Federal charges.

Woody Hayes

I just love being a liberal so I can read Taxpayer whine like a baby about everything that he knows nothing about. Taxpayer, were you fired or just released?

Juliebeth, did the batteries go dead in your tin foil hat? You can answer your own question.

Julie R.

I always thought that was the chief reason behind the firing of Kim Nuesse --- she dared to cross certain elected public officials by not seeing the value of continuing with the drug task force.  In fact, when a certain Common Pleas Court judge gave his magistrates substantial raises over the objections of the county commissioners, I thought that was sort of like the Judge's way of "getting even" with the Erie County residents for voting down a sales tax increase to fund the drug task force. My opinion only, of course.


The war on drugs is a failure and a waste of money.

Almost all private employers require drug tests upon being hired and random drug tests during employment.

The public sector employees should be required to take drug tests upon being elected or appointed to office or hired to a public sector job. Random drug tests would be required for all public employees. No public sector employee will be given an exception.

All lawyers would be required to take a drug test whether they be judges, prosecutors or defense lawyers. All lawyers would be required to take random drug tests to keep their law license.

All people receiving public assistance would be required to take a drug test upon the start of getting benefits and random drug tests afterwards.

Is it possible that public sector employees and those receiving welfare are immune to drug tests because it would violate the U.S. Constitution’s Fourth Amendment right against unreasonable searches? Two standards, one for public employees and one for private employees and citizens.

Those in favor of a drug task force should be required to take a drug test. See how many will decline a drug test.

We already have the DEA. Why isn't the DEA doing their job at the borders like they should be doing? Perhaps the DEA is too busy breaking down doors of the small fry and too afraid of the drug cartels? The DEA should be doing their job and cleaning up Arizona and other places.

Perhaps the war on drugs is actually job security even though it is a failure?


 So, Centuri, instead of using the taxpayers' money to have a task force that sets up sting operations and take down drug dealers, you want to spend it on pee pee tests for elected officials?  I have a feeling the task force would be would be just a little more productive.


@ kURTje - I couldn't agree more on legalize and tax - the prohibition isn't working, a huge chunk of crime would go away, funds would be available to go after the #hit on the street.

Centuari - thumbs up!

The politicians and media have pitted Americans against Americans. Once people get away from the Republican / Democrat / Conservative / Liberal / Tea Party / name calling / accusing  whatever mentality and realize that we are ALL Americans, focus on the problems, agree to disagree, arrive at solutions collectivly - we may get this country back on track!


there  IS NO WAR ON DRUGS, there is too much money being redistributed and too many people employed to 'fight the dealers", IT’S A SAD and Pathetic JOKE. It’s all about keeping people employed since we have become a non industrialized nation. Just look at all the money the lawyers receive when they defend this group of slime. Think about all the money that is made by filling up the prisons, the politicians who know beforehand what is going to be passed and they invest in the contracting companies, the food vendors who will receive the contracts, lining companies, there’s TONS OF MONEY IN INCARCERATION ! Name a war where there is no agenda to kill the enemy? Wise up people, this current system is Don Quixote written all over it and it NEVER ends to feed the few who make fortunes from this ‘war’.   A war with no deaths except to the cops and citizens?  Ridiculous, call it what it is, a way to continue to keep the economy and employment active. IF this government REALLY wanted to end drugs in this country it WOULD be done. 1. Get a president with SOME allegiance to the oath of office to PROTECT the boarders and actually DO IT, this includes past presidents. 2. SHOOT TO KILL WITHOUT QUESTIONS anyone crossing the border illegally and let them rot there as a warning to others. Also, shoot them half way across the river, we own that part too! 3. EXECUTE ALL DRUG DEALERS no exceptions! Differentiate those who work with the lawmen with information and those who don’t. Refusal to assist you die a LONG and painful death. Those who work with the lawmen get put to sleep.   4. ANYONE buying drugs lose ALL their property, their citizenship and are exported and if found returning to the USA they are executed. WAR ON DRUGS would be won in less than a year. Sadly however the bleeding hearts will complain as their community continues to rot with the filth, deviation and drugs from these scum’s.  We can never please the whiners so just ignore them and do what is necessary.  
brutus smith

 bailey, I fully understand now why you weren't raptured.




Put it in place AND KEEP IT THERE!

Thumbs up.


How bout a committee to legalize drugs?This comes from a non-drinker,non-smoker,non-user.Look around,prisons full, lives destroyed,killings and a police force that is BROKE.This WAR was the costliest loss of all our wars.Legalize it tax it and treat it as a disease.My other remedy is to confiscate the drugs put deadly poison in it then send it out to the public again.One hit and your DEAD.What do ya'll think?


legalize drugs....   I knew it wouldn't take long until someone came up with this bright idea ot legalize abuse towards ones self and others by being stoned cold drunk on drugs.

it won't be long however until the majority of society slides to this posstion in the gutter.

The prisions would not be filled up if we executed the criminals. Read my previous post, its a GAME that money is made with, and we are the little icons moved on the Monopoly board or the pawns if you play chess. We are dispensable to those making the big bucks on this war.


Better Solution

Confiscate and the sell for operating cash everything; cars, TV's, computers, cell phones, homes, clothes, furniture, bikes, and everything else that is even remotely involved with this problem.  Either you are part of the solution, or you are part of the problem, that needs to be obliterated from our area.  If we used Zero Tolerance and Total Liquidation of everything involved in the drug problem, this could be solved overnight.  Let's learn from history. We totally annialated Japan during WWII and then set the rules for a civilized society.  They continue to be an ally against terrorist activity.  It's time to use this lesson for future good.   Institute mandatory drug testing as a means test for all forms of assistance.  You use, You lose!


I remember moving back here last summer after living in southern Ohio for 5 years. I remember hearing about all the shootings and saying to myself: What's the deal here? Is Sandusky's police force made up of blue and white's only? Do they have any detectives/task force?? I can't believe that a city like Sandusky lacks these things. Sanduskians need good police breathing down the necks of these criminals, and literally putting them out of their business.  How many people have to be killed for your precious tax dollars? This was such a miniscule tax hike too for benefits that greatly outweighed the costs to the taxpayer. Shame on you disillusioned people for creating excuses to be against this cause. Good luck this summer SPD, you're going to need it.

Julie R.

I agree ---- the elected old boy & girl public officials at the corrupt Erie County courthouse should all be required to take a pee-pee test!  


People Wake Up!

This isnt a property tax increase.  This is an increase " EVERYONE" will get to pay.  What part of EVERYONE dont you understand!  Beer is taxable, Cigs are taxable, paint thinner is taxable, razor blades are taxable, diapers are taxable.  If this tax goes soley towards the Drug Task force, lets do it.

Julie R.

After the illegal crap Binette and Lyons, working in collusion with McGookey, pulled off on my deceased mother's property, I wouldn't vote for ANYTHING they want!  

Ned Mandingo

Why doen't they come out and say it, they want the entire county to pay to police sandusky.

Outside lookin in

I will never Vote for funding the Drug Task Farce as long as Kevin Baxter is Prosecutor.  Didn't anyone read the Judge's Decision in the Kevin J. Baxter v. Sandusky Register Case. KJB was outed by the BCI.


For a list of excuse$/reason$,( $ome 20 year$ old) a$ to why thi$ fair city doe$n't de$erve a '$hot' at improvement, plea$e read comment$ below.

Outside lookin in

Waywithwords or Kevin B. .....You had over 20 years to stop the drugs in Erie.  There are more drugs in Erie than ever before. You have all the city cops, Erie County Sheriff's Department, the State Highway Patrol, the local FBI, the Border Patrol, the Coast Gaurd, National Guard and Reserves and YOU can't stop drugs in Erie ?????  You all are either the dumbest most incompetent group of government employees in the Universe or your in on it!!! We do not need a drug task force to bump up all the law enforcement employees retirement funds or get free drugs and non accountable Cash for the so-called insiders..


the increase in criminal activity and shootings has sky rocketed since the dismissal of the ECDTF. This was the worst decision that could have been made. criminal activity including shootings and MORE drugs and drug related crimes has definitely gone up since the task force was dismantled. they need to put kurt muehling back in there along with vince, carl, lobsinger and lewis-just to name a few. they did their jobs and they did them well. and yes, crime went down.


Bailey- Either you are not serious or you're certifiably crazy with your declarations of shoot to kill.

But as this blog is an opinion piece, I support de-criminalization not throwing more kids into jail and ruining lives.  I see no accomplishment only violence and expense and for what?  What did prohibition bring?  With de-criminalization we could generate tax revenue and end expenses for the courts and the prison systems.  To some degree it could/would mitigate the drug war in Mexico. 

Centauri Another significant aspect of evaluating law enforcement priorities concerns the growing economic impact of what is referred to as “white‐collar crime.” This is a broad term for what are essentially nonviolent theft, including such crimes as fraud, identity theft, embezzlement, and securities fraud. While a great deal of media attention is devoted to law enforcement responses to street crimes, the economic impact of these crimes is dwarfed by the magnitude of white‐collar crime, which is conservatively estimated to have an impact of 10 times the value of street crimes.

Marijuana arrests also divert law enforcement and criminal justice system resources from possession and sales offenses involving other illicit drugs. In 2007, marijuana arrests were 49% of all drug arrests in Ohio. Other drugs such as cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, and synthetic narcotics such as Oxycontin present far more serious threats to both individuals and the public.


Myopinion, youre absolutely correct...... outside opinion well... not so much... where to start, you said so many ridiculous things.... lets start by addressing the fact that you stated that we have the COAST GUARD AND BOARDER PATROL among the agencies helping to combat drugs and gun violence in Sandusky. That's enough said really, but I'll expand.... The war on drugs doesn't end. You don't have a drug task force for 2-3 years and poof, voila! No more drugs! That's not how it works. Drugs are permanent. Drug Task Forces breathe down the necks of these guys and help bring down the rates of violence and drug activity in cities like Sandusky. It's absurd that this city just has regular police. And no, I'm not affiliated with any police programs or local government, I am just a citizen that would like to do my business in Sandusky without the fear of catching a stray bullet, and I think that's my right.

Outside lookin in

Waywithwords you must either be an insider or you don't know whats going on in Erie.  The boys that are in power are the ones involved in bringing in the Drugs through Florida, Findlay, Oh., etc.  How nieve or involved are YOU?

No longer a resident

Could not agree more.  Why don't you simply look up old John O'Nan, and see why he quit and transferred out of town.  Remember the story about the Fox watching the hen house, John finally got fed up with the corruption.


Again I'll state these facts.  Counties such as Holland, Canada, Belgium & others raise Hemp. The THC level is incredibly low.     Yet in America "we" can't grow hemp.   Hemp can do many things with a low impact that other products currently utilized cannot.    Now Marihuana :  many  facts  prove why ADULTS should have the freedom  to consume.....of course it is unlawful to do so. This needs to change.    What is the average cost in America to per year to jail 1person for a year? (Marihuana).          Drugs like Crack, H, & others need addressed NOW!                     The  Task Force could be funded through the Legalization of Marihuana imo.           btw.....I don't grow or smoke it either.


Business is always good. That's what Capt. Greg P. Majoy commander of the Erie County Drug Task says when you ask him about his job. The task force may disband because of a lack of money for staffing, but the reality is if there were 100 members on it, there still would be a drug problem in Erie County and the rest of the nation.


Majoy, a straight shooter, doesn't make any bones about it. Arrest one drug dealer, and someone else will step up to fill the vaccum. Major cocaine dealers (by Sandusky standards) Ladonte Skelton and Shaunsay J. Gowdy have gone to prison in the last year, and the drugs continue to flow.