State Rep. Haraz N. Ghanbari (R-Perrysburg), a staunch advocate for law enforcement, and the author of House Bill 206, announces its passage following strong bipartisan support Wednesday in the Ohio Senate. The legislation, which provides township trustees the ability to allow township law officers to enforce laws on interstate highways within their jurisdiction, now heads to the governor for consideration.
“The passage of this legislation will positively impact public safety in our communities of Wood County to include Perrysburg Township and Lake Township; it has always been about facilitating cooperation and collaboration between our local officials and law enforcement officers to protect Ohioans on our roadways,” said Ghanbari. “After carrying this legislation for two consecutive general assemblies, I’m grateful it was fully vetted in both chambers, and received the support necessary to be favorably passed. This provides another method in keeping our communities safe.”
The legislation contains the following provisions:
- The highway is part of the interstate highway system;
- The township has a population between 5,000 and 50,000 residents;
- Township Trustees grant authority to patrol the applicable interstate;
- The highway is located within the township officer’s jurisdiction; and
- There is a permanent access point on and off the highway located within the jurisdiction and open to the public.
A provision within the bill also allows township trustees to revoke the authority through a subsequent resolution if they so choose.
“This legislation would not have been possible without Representative Ghanbari’s diligence and advocacy,” said Perrysburg Township Police Lieutenant J. Matthew Gazarek. “Haraz has shown his commitment to law enforcement through the hundreds of hours he has invested with our department, and other agencies throughout Ohio, by riding with our officers and responding to calls to observe what we encounter on a daily basis. It is through his commitment he was able to successfully articulate the need for this legislation.”
Other groups and individuals who supported for the legislation during committee process include the Ohio State Highway Patrol, Perrysburg Township Police Department, Lake Township (Wood County) Police Department, Prosecutor Thomas Matuszak, Ohio Township Association, Wood County Board of Commissioners, Ohio Patrolmen's Benevolent Association, Ohio Fire Chiefs' Association, Ohio Trucking Association, Lake Township within Wood County, Montville Police Department within Medina County, Bath Township Police Department within Summit County, Medina County Sheriff, Weathersfield Township within Trumbull County and the County Commissioners Association of Ohio.
The legislation now heads to the governor for consideration.