The Ohio State Highway Patrol History Committee Meeting
August 27, 2009

Given the responsibility of overseeing the preservation of the Patrol’s history, the Ohio State Highway Patrol Historical Committee met August 27, 2009.

The Historical Committee, made up of 12 individuals from different areas within and outside the Patrol, meets twice a year to review artifact preservation, discuss upcoming projects, and guide the actions of the Patrol regarding conservation.

Recent Committee accomplishments discussed during the meeting included:

•  The introduction of a Virtual Historical Museum link on the Patrol’s Web site. The museum features exhibits containing photos of objects, documents and other items in the Patrol’s archives. Exhibits on the site change each month.

•  The ability to input information directly into the Patrol’s artifact database from the main office on W. Broad Street (Shipley Building) and from the remote artifact storage area on Alum Creek Drive – both in Columbus.

•  Monitoring temperature and humidity levels in the Alum Creek storage area, which remained fairly stable this spring and summer around 66 degrees Fahrenheit and 38 percent relative humidity – stable, cool conditions for fragile documents and objects.

•  The changing of three display cases at Heritage Hall (Patrol Training Academy) to reflect the 75th Anniversary celebrations last year, the history of women in the Division and the history of minorities in the Division.

•  The introduction of a new quarterly inventory audit of items at Heritage Hall and the Academy weapons vault.

•  All photos and scrapbooks given to Photo Services for scanning of items digitally. Photo Services will house historical photos in their offices, which are equipped with a fire-suppression system.

•  Answered numerous history inquiries from within and outside of the Division – many of the questions coming from the public through the wwwOHP link on the Patrol's Web site.

•  Sending out an announcement to all posts through electronic mail to encourage employees to send artifacts to the main offices for accessioning and long-term preservation.

•  Interviewing retirees and accepting items for display or donations for preservation from several people, including: Ret. S/Lt. Virginia Fogt; Ret. S/Lt. Charles L. Mathess; Capt. Michelle Henderson; Ret. Lt. Col. Gilbert Jones; Executive Secretary Fermina Sanchez; and former Patrolman Wayne Tresemer.

•  A report that the recovery of a Patrol-owned weapon took place during an incident involving a vehicle stopped by the Columbus Police Department. The weapon, originally owned by Col. George Mingle in 1957 and given to Homer Abele in 1984. It was last known to be on display at Heritage Hall in 2006, but came up missing in a weapons inventory audit in late 2008.

Ret. Lt. Col. Shel Senek reported that Aviation Tpr. Darwin Justice is working to complete a model of a 1948 Beechcraft Bonanza, recently purchased by the Patrol Retirees’ Association. The goal, after Tpr. Justice finishes, is for the model to look exactly like the Patrol’s first aircraft and hang in Heritage Hall. The Retirees’ Association will continue working to develop graphics of decals for use on the model.

Also, Ret. Lt. Col. Senek said the Retirees’ Association’s Ham and Bean Luncheons held every first Wednesday at noon at the Academy continue to be popular and update active and retired personnel about goings-on in each district.

Committee members recommended a plan to obtain a mannequin at no cost so that a uniform from the Division can be displayed at the Greater Cincinnati Area Police Historical Society Museum in Cincinnati. The Society dedicated a section of the exhibits for artwork featuring different aspects of the Division, as well as some artifacts. The Patrol’s Historical Committee and the Cincinnati Police Historical Society both agree that the addition of a full state trooper’s class “A” uniform will enhance the already large uniform collection at the facility.

Patrol Auxiliary Historian David Smith suggested adding an exhibit to Heritage Hall that would resemble the set-up of an office from the 1940s. He stated that such a display would be more interactive and interesting, as viewers would feel as if they were actually observing the Patrol of the past. Also recommended, by Ret. Lt. Col. Senek, was a computer-based kiosk at Heritage Hall that would educate viewers about all the Patrol’s artifacts and history.

Highway Help - 1-877-7-PATROL (from Ohio only) - PO Box 182074 - 1970 West Broad St. - Columbus, OH 43223

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