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OPD suspends jailing practice

Senior Staff Writer

Published: Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Updated: Tuesday, December 3, 2013 00:12

The Oxford Police Department (OPD) suspended the practice of sending arrestees to the Butler County Jail for some misdemeanors, but several students are unaware that this is no longer OPD’s policy.

According to an article published in The Miami Student, the Associated Student Government (ASG) met Nov. 12 to discuss a resolution that would call for a change to OPD’s detention policy. OPD Chief Bob Holzworth confirmed that the practice was suspended Sept. 27, 2013.

Now, only aggravating circumstances would result in transportation to Butler County Jail said Holzworth. The reason for the transport would be articulated in the arresting officer’s report.

OPD transported 90 arrestees to the Butler County Jail of the approximately 1,600 reported offenses since the beginning of 2013, according to Holzworth. Not all of those transported to Butler County Jail were Miami University students, nor were they all liquor-related offenses.

Holzworth said this practice was a short-term tactic by the OPD to deal with the increasing problem of the illegal and/or overconsumption of alcohol and/or other substances that the Oxford community faces.

“We recognize that we cannot change the world,” Holzworth said. “This is not just an Oxford problem, this is a national problem. But still, we have to try to make a difference here.”

Holzworth said the OPD is looking for a long-term solution to alleviate the ever-present issue of people putting themselves at risk. He is willing to collaborate with Miami students, organizations and community members to develop a system that will educate individuals.

“We can’t arrest our way out of this problem,” he said. “We’re trying to come up with something creative, and we’re willing to work with anyone who wants to sit down to have a concrete good discussion about what we could do to make Oxford a safer place for everyone here.”

Holzworth said the OPD has not necessarily had an active relationship with ASG in the past, but he said he hopes the discussion OPD recently had with ASG is the beginning of many discussions to develop a concrete, viable, long-term solution.

He also said that OPD does what it can with its limited resources. 25 officers comprise the OPD, but Holzworth said the department could use about 50-75 officers during peak periods.

“With the limited number of people that we have, we are trying to devote a lot of energy and time into this problem of the overconsumption of something that people shouldn’t be doing,” Holzworth said.

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