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The Ohio State Highway Patrol is an internationally accredited agency whose mission is to protect life and property, promote traffic safety and provide professional public safety services with respect, compassion, and unbiased professionalism. The Patrol provides:
Statewide traffic services to keep our roadways safe;
Statewide emergency response services and support services to the public and the criminal justice community;
Investigation of criminal activities on state-owned and leased property throughout Ohio, and;
Security for the Governor and other dignitaries.
The Patrol is a division of the Ohio Department of Public Safety, which is administrated by a director who holds a cabinet-level position in state government. The commander of the Patrol holds the rank of Colonel and is referred to as the Superintendent. The superintendent is selected from the Patrol ranks upon the retirement or death of a predecessor.
Although personnel strength varies, the Patrol maintains a uniformed complement of about 1,600 officers. In addition, about 1,000 support personnel, including load limit inspectors, motor vehicle inspectors, motor carrier enforcement inspectors, dispatchers, electronics technicians, and civilian specialists complete the Patrol's personnel strength. Ohio Investigative Unit agents report through the Patrol and trace the trail of alcohol after a fatal or serious injury crash, an OVI stop when the driver is highly intoxicated, or any stop where minors have been drinking. An all-volunteer auxiliary force, originally formed during World War II to assist officers after many entered the armed services, continues to donate thousands of hours of service to the citizens of Ohio.
Patrol General Headquarters is located in Columbus. The state is subdivided into nine districts. Each district is commanded by a captain and each post by a lieutenant. Training is conducted at the Patrol Academy, also located in Columbus.
From the ranks of its road troopers, the Patrol trains and maintains a number of officers in specialized law enforcement positions. Among these are: plainclothes investigators; traffic and drug interdiction teams and canine officers; commercial enforcement coordinators, inspectors, and crash reconstructionists. The Patrol also maintains a special response team, comprised of road troopers who are specially trained in weapons and chemical agent use, extraction techniques, and rapid response methods.
Routine operations are conducted almost exclusively from automobiles. However, the Patrol also utilizes SUV's, fixed-wing aircraft, and helicopters in the course of its duties. A fully equipped command vehicle, which can operate as a mobile patrol post, is maintained in a constant state of readiness to respond to natural disasters, civil unrest, and other emergencies requiring extended Patrol presence.