State turns a blind eye

Jul 9, 2013


A recent agreement between the Ohio Highway Patrol and the U.S. Border Patrol to house a Patrol post at the Border Patrol headquarters in Port Clinton is an uncomfortable partnership. 

The State Highway Patrol is subject to Ohio laws when it comes to its law enforcement activities; the Border Patrol is not. 

The Border Patrol routinely apprehends people on the street without being accountable for what happens to those people. It does not have to disclose its activities or explain its actions. It has a practice of referring to people by offensive names, and that practice must meet with the approval of commanders because it appears they have done nothing to correct it. If they taken steps to educate agents that it is wrong to to use offensive names for people, it's not saying it took that corrective action. It doesn't have to. 

These practices are anti-American and they do not align with Ohio law either. 

It's apparent our representatives in Congress and our legislators in Columbus are unwilling or unable to take action to correct this behavior. 

But the egrigousness of that is made worse when the state forms a partnership with an agency and turns a blind eye to it.



It's a slippery slope to the loss of individual rights and the growth of government.

This partnership is not a positive development to those of us who value our independence and the Constitution.

The federal government can raise taxes without public vote. The state government can raise taxes without public vote. The county government can raise taxes without public vote. Now, the Perkins school board wants to build buildings without a public vote.

People wake up before it to late. Stop handing away your rights and freedoms.


Scares me to see the police gaining too much power. I am a fan of law enforcement, but the intrusions into our privacy is not the American way that i was brought up to believe in.
We stopped boating after being boarded and "inspected" for NO REASON.. We have been on the lake for 40 years. It was a very un-American experience. Everything was fine, no citations or problems.


And will continue to allow it


Matt, once again you show your ignorance. The State Patrol will not be working under the control of the border patrol, who apparently according to you, are a bunch of over zealous bigots. Sharing resources will not contaminate yet another law enforcement agency as you imply.

Matt you would be comical if you didn't have such a powerful platform, consider using it appropriately. Keep chasing your big story Matt, never let the facts get in the way.

Matt Westerhold

Thanks for sharing your opinion dontcare. You have an appropriate name. I believe if you re-read the editorial board's opinion it states this is an "uncomfortable partnership." You might have read too much into it, or you might be naive. You might also consider being more polite in future posts. 


OK I wouldn't want to get banned from offering my opinion. I don't another way to interpret it. It seems clear that the implication is the border patrol will somehow adversely affect the State Patrol. You over generalize the acts of a very few to the general population of border patrol agents. It seems you do this to all law enforcement. It would be like me judging all newspapers by your biased reporting. I don't do that, perhaps you shouldn't either. I apologize for the harsh tone, not the content.

Matt Westerhold

Thanks dontcare. I imagine you might be an active or retired law enforcement officer or government employee. Perhaps you could cite an example of the bias you're suggesting against law enforcement. If you take a closer, unbiased look, you might see the reporting to which you object had impact — from the Ohio governor firing two state troopers years ago after one dressed in a KKK costume while on duty to the fine work from the Sandusky County sheriff's office involved in the deaths of at least two residents and the current 16-month investigation of an "accidental suicide." One of those KKK troopers was fired again after he tried to blame a passenger in his car for the drunken driving accident he caused. As far as the Border Patrol trampling on the U.S. Constitution, that would seem to speak for itself. You seem to be OK with that. The opinion expressed by the editorial board simply expresses a concern you don't seem to share. The Register is happy to provide you a space to share your opinion.


Matt, trust me on this, that trooper would of been fired without you. You do understand that the Border Patrol has extended powers within 100 miles of an international border. Your apparent generalization of a few to an entire occupation is getting old. You have to know there was a collective laugh when you asked for examples of your bias toward law enforcement. Matt, take a look at your between the lines show with the local businessman who was arrested at the Islands (don't remember his name or specific island) That was a disgrace, your mockery and disrespect shown was upsetting. Your obvious misunderstanding of the Sunshine Laws and the indignation shown because you don't get everything you want from the very people you disrespect so publicly is also upsetting. I'll stop there.

J Cooper

dontcare, your tone was not harsh, you dared to disagree with the management. To disagree with the power at this newspaper is to be "impolite" or worse banned. Many who trash law enforcement were frustrated because they couldn't make the grade.

Peninsula Pundit

The Register's comment are spot on.
It should be noted that some 'Americans' think that uncontrolled police powers expansion, both overt and tacit,are perfectly alright for their 'safety'. Fortunately for Freedom-Loving Americans, those of that ilk are more obstreperous than numerous.
It is the 1st Amendment duty of Register to continue to point out these assaults on our Liberty.
They should continue to do so and be vigilant in their duties.

J Cooper

Live in the Border area of Arizona, New Mexico or Texas where many times the U.S. Border Patrol is the only defense against a rising criminal element from Mexico. Its easy to critize them living in Northern Ohio where we don't depend on them for basic protection.

Peninsula Pundit

Nor do we need them!
We here in Ohio are plenty armed enough to defend our shores against any terrorists coming over Lake Erie.
What these many law-enforcement divisions are doing on our vacation waterways is despicable!


Really? Really?! Border Patrol (or ICE) is going to "corrupt" the SHP? Wow, you really need to loosen the aluminum-foil hat you're wearing...
These guys are true professionals that conduct their work with no expectaion that they'll even get an "atta-boy" when they're done.
Unlike you Sir who expects everyone to applaud and cheer at your every word. I challenge you to tag along with them for a week and see what they really do vs what you "think" thay do... Do you accept the challenge?


"A recent agreement between the Ohio Highway Patrol and the U.S. Border Patrol to house a Patrol post at the Border Patrol headquarters in Port Clinton is an uncomfortable partnership.

The State Highway Patrol is subject to Ohio laws when it comes to its law enforcement activities; the Border Patrol is not."

Exposing The Police State One Checkpoint At A Time
"It seems that the U.S. Border Patrol is now working closely with the Pennsylvania State Police, the Ohio State Patrol and the New York State Police in a crackdown on so-called aggressive driving, impaired driving and speeding.

Since the U.S. Supreme Court has made it clear the U.S. Border Patrol has no authority to enforce state or local traffic laws, it's equally clear the Border Patrol will be using traffic stops initiated by local and state law enforcement as a pretext to enforce federal immigration and smuggling laws:"

The above link is 4 years old. Know what your government is doing. Be informed.

"Are we becoming a police state? Five things that have civil liberties advocates nervous" December 7, 2011

"15 Disturbing Similarities Between the USA Now & Nazi Germany Then"

"Border Patrol working with the local Port Townsend police department. Why?"
"Incident involving Border Patrol and Port Townsend police
Thursday, June 13, 2013"

"Border Patrol Agents with Personal Agendas…."
Posted on 25 May 2013.
"U.S. Border Patrol Gone Wild: “If the U.S. is not a Police State now, it soon will be!”"


On a federal level, last I knew the Hatch Act still applies for Federal employees. Free speech??


Centauri is RIGHT and Matt Westerhold is ABSOLUTELY RIGHT to raise this as an important issue! This nation is in serious trouble as it is; you other people need to wake up and stop watching DWTS

Amerian Dad

Outstanding "dontcare!"... Ut's funny that because the US Border Patrol won't play Mr. Westerhold's games, he allows the article to smear them. Would have loved to been a fly on the wall several years ago when he demanded a public records request from them. They told him no and told him to see the US Attorney General if he had any further questions.

Matt Westerhold

Thanks American Dad. Love your show. The Register continues to make public records requests to the U.S. Border Patrol and other federal agencies and these agencies continue to ignore state law, according to experts in this field. Your suggestion the Register "smeared" these agencies by reporting on allegations in numerous lawsuits filed in courthouses across the country is not a fair or accurate assessment and your opinion that these are "games" seems trite.

You're welcome to call and arrange to review these public records requests, however, if you do have concerns or would like more information.


A public records request only entitles you to records that fall under the public records law. Just because you make a request does not entitle you to records exempt from the law. Showing requests for documents you are not entitled to would accomplish nothing. Your hangup as I see it is your sense of entitlement. Of course your public allegations of a cover-up because they will not release non-public records to you, to which you apparently feel entitled, is an issue as well.

Matt Westerhold

The Border Patrol never cited any exemptions but simply ignored state law. Your opinion suggests you are comfortable with federal police agencies operating in your community without being required to disclose any of their activities or follow any standard practices of accountability. That seems misguided, dontcare, and unconcerned.



Matt, your response is a good example of your misdirection of the facts. My statement merely states that you are entitled only to public records. To strengthen you lackluster argument and I assume to deceive the readers, you imply that I am ok with not following standard practices or accountability, and that I am unconcerned about government accountability. This is an example of your dishonest journalism. You can change your argument, don't change mine to justify your actions.

Random Thoughts

Federal agencies (like the Border Patrol) are governed by the FEDERAL Freedom of Information Act, NOT State public records laws. So to say that the Border Patrol "ignored state law," "violated the law," or is "Anti-American" because they don't give you everything you ask for under Ohio law, displays a clear lack of knowledge on your part.  The Federal FOIA gives clear instructions on how to request and obtain records from Federal agencies. I suggest following these instructions instead of misleading your readers.  Also, just because the Highway Patrol is renting or sharing space in a Federal facility, does NOT mean that they are no longer subject to state law.

J Cooper

You do realize that Federal agencies follow federal stature which supersedes state law. Any request for reports, and or information would have to be requested and covered by the Federal Information Act, not state public records.

Matt Westerhold

Thanks JCooper. The newsroom staff likely has more experience than most — including you — when it comes to making public records requests and what the rules are and the difference between the state and federal statutes. We also have ready access to legal advice on these topics. So, yes, we know the difference and you miss the point. It's a bit condescending. Given the consistent effort the Register makes across a wide spectrum of news coverage to obtain and review public documents, I'm surprised you might think we might not know the difference. 

J Cooper

Simple questions; did you experienced newsroom staff request information under state public records or the Federal Freedom of Information Act, which the Federal Agencies are governed by. Why is asking questions "condescending" when many of your replies tend to be patronizing with a superior attitude. I once read a quote by a career journalist, "a bias press in not symbolic of a free press." Hopefully I did not violate any of your policies by questioning and polite disagreement.


Sounds like a majority of American who have no value on freedom or rights. We are sliding down a slippery slope. The ending does not look good.

Peninsula Pundit

As I commented earlier:
They may speak louder, but they are holding a diminuitive stick.
There are more people who hold that there is such a thing as too much police and too many trespasses on American Liberty and Freedom.
Don't be cowed by the noise.
Stand up for Freedom always.