The Ohio State Highway Patrol is a division of the Ohio Department of Public Safety and is the official highway patrol and de facto state police agency of Ohio. The several missions of the Patrol include providing roadway patrol, emergency response to all public lands, the investigation of crimes and providing security for the Governor and other dignitaries.
Operationally, the Patrol is divided into units whose varying tasks complement the mission of the Patrol to provide safe roadways throughout the state. Operational units include the Office of Field Operations, units specializing in Aviation, a Special Response Team, Crash reconstruction, Inspections, and Criminal Patrol; Human Resource Management, includes Labor Relations, Career Development and the Administrative Investigation Unit; Office of Investigative Services, includes statewide investigation of crimes occurring on state owned or leased property, crime lab, polygraph services, executive protection for the governor, criminal intelligence and computer crime unit; License and Commercial Standards, which provide for oversight of driver's license and commercial vehicle regulations throughout the state.
The Patrol also has administrative offices which include the Offices of Technology and Communication Services, Finance and Logistics Services, Strategic Services and Recruitment and Training.<
The Patrol maintains 55 posts, each administered by one of ten districts and responsible for one, two, or three of Ohio's 88 counties or the Ohio Turnpike. The Patrol has posts in Findlay, Bucyrus, Massillon, Warren, Piqua, Columbus, Cambridge, Chillicothe, Portsmouth (Scioto County), South Point, Wilmington, and Jackson. The Berea/Turnpike District operates from three posts on the Ohio Turnpike. Since the turnpike opened in 1955, the Ohio Turnpike Commission has contracted with the Ohio State Highway Patrol to provide law enforcement and assistance to disabled or stranded motorists. They are the only law enforcement agency with jurisdiction on the turnpike.
Recently the Patrol created a mission statement entitled LifeState 1.0, detailing the strategic goals for the Patrol. One of the primary goals of this document was the reduction of traffic crash deaths in Ohio to one per 100 million vehicle miles traveled by the end of 2007. This goal was actually met in 2006. According to the Patrol, its 1,400 Troopers made over 1.4 million professional stops in 2006, with 60 percent being non-enforcement stops to help, assist or educate motorists. Twenty-five percent of enforcement-related stops in 2006 was for either aggressive driving or for an OVI offense. The Patrol arrested 26,187 drivers for OVI in 2006, and cited 133,650 drivers for aggressive driving.
The Patrol has a strength of approximately 1,400 Troopers in addition to 1,000 support personnel, including driver examiners, load limit inspectors, motor vehicle inspectors, motor carrier enforcement inspectors, dispatchers, electronics technicians, and civilian specialists. The Patrol also maintains an all-volunteer auxiliary which was created during World War II to supplement staffing lost to the war effort.
The Ohio State Highway Patrol was founded in 1933 under the command of Colonel Lynn Black. Originally, the Highway Patrol used solid black cars with the Flying Wheel on the door. In 1966, white cruisers made their appearance on the Ohio Turnpike. By 1972 all Ohio State Highway Patrol cruisers were white, which they remained until 1982 when they moved to sterling silver. The silver cars remained until 1991. In 1992, they moved to dark grey cruisers marked with the famous "flying wheel" insignia on the doors and a yellow stripe running the length of the car. However, in 2002, the decision was made to transition the force back to white colored patrol vehicles with larger lightbars in response to a number of incidents where troopers were killed by inattentive motorists. The OSHP remains to this day a highly respected organization, having gained CALEA accredditation.
In the line of duty
During the history of the Patrol, 38 Troopers have died in performance of their duties. Of that number, two were killed in aircraft accidents, sixteen in either motorcycle or automobile accidents, and eight were struck by vehicles or trains. Further, seven were killed in vehicle pursuits or vehicular assault, three by gunfire, one Trooper was electrocuted and one died from an allergic reaction to a bee sting.
The OSHP demographics are:
- Male: 91%
- Female: 9%
- White: 86%
- African-American/Black: 11%
- Hispanic: 3%
The Patrol Auxiliary was created in 1942 when many Troopers entered service with the United States military due to World War II. Originally, members of the Auxiliary were required to be members of the American Legion because they were previous war veterans who were unlikely to be drafted.
Today, volunteer Auxiliary members ride on patrol with Troopers, assist at crash scenes, natural disasters and emergency sites, provide highway safety displays, and patrol the Ohio State Fair.
1970 West Broad St.
Phone: (877) 7-PATROL