In the News…
Island Police Department
PIBPD Police Chief Update
Put-in-Bay Mayor Jessica Dress presented her choice of a permanent police chief for the Village at the Village Council meeting in March. The mayor and her committee had to make their choice from about 50 applicants for the position. A majority vote of Council is needed to approve the hiring of a police chief, but Council, rather than taking a vote, decided that a background check was needed for the Mayor’s recommendation, Interim Chief James Kimble.
At press time, the background check had not been received by Council for its review, so things are still up in the air as to who will actually be the next police chief of Put-in-Bay. In the meantime, Kimble remains as interim Chief.
June Arrests Bring Lawsuits
Several of the passengers in a golf cart stopped early last June by PIBPD officers in the parking lot at Adventure Bay have filed suit against the Village of Put-in-Bay and some of the officers involved in their arrest. The incident came about when police stopped an overloaded golf cart. The driver was spotted appearing to pass something off to one of the woman passengers in the cart. When the officers went to detain the woman, passengers in the cart joined in the confusing ruckus which had one officer pulling his gun. Multiple officers were called to the scene.
Six black men were arrested on aggravated rioting charges and released two days later, with all charges dropped following a protest for their release outside the Ottawa County Courthouse.
Last fall, four of the people in the cart filed suit against the Village and seven of its police officers in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio. The plaintiffs made allegations that PIB police used excessive force during the arrests, that they were falsely imprisoned, the officers acted negligently, and that the officers were ill-trained. They also claimed that each person involved in the incident suffered physical and emotional trauma, treatment for medical expenses and lost wages. The suit seeks more than $75,000 in compensation. Now five others involved have joined the lawsuit. Another woman, who is also black, joined the suit from a separate incident in May.
An attorney representing the village filed a response to the lawsuit claiming that the officers were acting in self-defense, that the plaintiffs “consented to or invited the alleged conduct against them,” that the plaintiffs obstructed lawful official business, and that officers had probable cause.
Both the plaintiffs and the defendants asked the judge for a trial by jury.
The previous piece is published in this month’s Put-in-Bay Gazette. The Gazette has been producing incredible independent Put-in-Bay island news for over 40 years. If you have any interest at all in what is happening on South Bass Island, we urge you strongly to subscribe to the Put-in-Bay Gazette. One-year online subscriptions are only $15, and print subscriptions are available as well. To subscribe please visit the Put-in-Bay Gazette subscription form.
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