New bill to give township police interstate jurisdiction

BUTLER TOWNSHIP, Ohio (WDTN) – Township police officers will be able to write traffic tickets on state highways, if a new bill passes in the Ohio House.

Right now, townships with fewer than 50-thousand people do not have highway jurisdiction – but the bill would change that.

Butler Township Police Chief John Porter noted two major interstates pass right through Butler Township, and the bill would give his officers more ability to pursue any situation that may start in the township and move onto the highway.

“We are limited with as far as taking formal action – making an arrest on the interstate,” Porter said.

“So this would open that up and really enhance or help our efforts to deal with ongoing situations.”

Interstates 75 and 70 both pass through Butler Township.

“Those supplies a lot of access in and out of our township,” he said. “We have a lot of different types of activity that’s going on.”

Porter said the bill would also give his department more leeway to assist Ohio State Highway patrol, if needed.

But, Porter said drivers shouldn’t expect to see Butler Township officers patrolling the freeway, too often.

“This would give us the ability to be able to respond to things if we needed to if the state highway patrol was tied up or if they needed assistance in any other particular way,” he said.

“[But] it’s not our intention to take over enforcement on the interstate.

“All we would be doing is enhancing our opportunities and our efforts in order to deal with criminal elements or crime that moves from the township onto the interstate. That would be my main concern as I would be looking at this.”

According to the bill, fines resulting from tickets would go into the township’s road maintenance fund.

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