Patrol tarnishes badge

Mar 10, 2014


There was a time when many considered the Ohio State Highway Patrol the gold standard with regard to the functionality of a law enforcement agency. It was responsive, thorough and professional.

A merry-go-round of leaders appointed before John Kasich became governor and since, however, resulted in resignations, demotions, allegations and counter allegations from the Patrol's commanders. The dysfunction resulted in scandals ranging  from aborted investigations as political favors to the destruction of records, among other things too many to list. 

While commanders tarnished the badge in Columbus as they squabbled and jockeyed over who was more corrupt and who should lead, the deteriorating professionalism was not lost on the rank and file. Some Patrol posts across the state were found to have cheaters who were unfit to wear a police uniform, including 12 in the Canton area who falsified test results on qualifying exams. 

More recently, allegations of sexual misconduct, domestic violence and falsification against Patrol personnel happen without any adequate response from Columbus. We know there are many fine Patrol troopers, and we sympathize with them for having to endure the fallout from failed leadership. 

But the pattern continues. 

On Dec. 26, the Patrol issued a news release detailing some information about an accident on U.S. 20 in Wakeman that appears to have been caused by black ice on the highway. The release provided information about a two-car accident that resulted in the death of a young woman.

The Norwalk post of the Patrol left out some important details, however, without explanation. 

A third vehicle — a Wakeman police cruiser — hit the same patch of black ice as the officer was responding and he crashed into the two vehicles involved in the accident. 

Patrol Lt. Anne Ralston could not explain why that important detail was left out of the news release. Subsequent crash reports from the Patrol appear to painstakingly attempt to show the police cruiser did not crash into the vehicle in which the young woman who died was a passenger, despite multiple statements from witnesses that it did.  

We're not sure why the Patrol lacked transparency, full disclosure and integrity concerning this crash. We suspect it was protecting the Wakeman Police Department. That's sure what it appears to be. 

This was a terrible, tragic accident, and the investigation of it appears compromised. The Patrol failed the families involved and further diminished its reputation. 

Ohioans deserve better. 



Stop It

I foresee a lot of 'marked lane violations' in store for the SR.


Along with "criminal indicators" that will privy them to tear apart whatever vehicle they are in with no consequences!


Probably should keep a nice stock of license plate and tail light bulbs!


Abuse of power at its finest. They may want to review their Core Values, seems as though they must have forgotten them. I am still interested in why Sgt. Ricky Vitte Jr. is on full duty when the Ohio Highway Patrol has been informed that the investigation was reopened. If an investigation is ongoing or reopened, it is my understanding the said trooper is to be placed on restricted duty, but yet Vitte is the exception to this, why?


Perhaps the reason is because there is no legal precident against his perverted behavior. I'm sure this incedent will be the reason for a new law to be enacted.


There is obviously something, otherwise the case would not have been reopened. I am just confused as to why he is still on full duty with an open case.


When the facts are accurate Matt can really write a powerful article. Seems the Register is sprouting into an investigative paper instead of a copy and paste from other news agencies.

I was not aware of these events outside Vitte, and without his name being mentioned it still shows the State Patrol as what we all know it to be, a bunch of egotistical, arrogant, over powered and non accountable abuse of power. So arrogant they won't investigate one of their own driving away from a local Sheriff deputy that pulls them over, thats nothing less than Flipping off the Deputy! To bad he didn't call for back up and chase the creep down!


to manny typoos hear


Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Personal attacks (including: name calling, presumption of guilt or guilt by association, insensitivity, or picking fights).


No question about it the OSP has been damaged by all this controversy. I would think the OSP union should take measures to clean up the force. They know how and where to put the pressure on. To me this small percentage of tarnished officers affects the entire force.

When I see a OSP cruiser now I wonder locally if that is Vitte famous for his sexual activities with minors.

We need a Governor who can clean up the OSP top to bottom.


"We need a Governor who can clean up the OSP top to bottom. "

Unfortunately our governor is too busy giving tax breaks to the rich to do anything like this !!!!


The union only exists to protect its membership from accountability. No way will they take measures to clean up the force.


The OSP attitude smells. Ricky Eric & I still laugh at you. 30 some years old & still goes by the name Ricky..whadda a ****.