This past Christmas my son-in-law knowing I’m a Cleveland Brown’s fan got me; got me as a present a T-Shirt in Orange & Brown that reads “Once Before I Die”. The chances or odds of the Browns winning a Super Bowl are as great as the Ohio Department of Public Safety answering a request from the PI/SG industry.
For the past fifteen years I have been personally involved with negations with the State of Ohio both as a lobbyist for the industry and as a licensed business owner representing the interest of our industry, so I am therefore qualified to address the issue.
Let’s start out with a simple issue that will address all the major issues that follow. This past year our investigative agency was request to do an intellectual property investigation in Licking County, OH; otherwise make an undercover purchase of “knock-offs” goods. After several undercover purchases we turned our evidence over to the Newark Police Department. We provided that department with physical evidence that a crime was being committed in their jurisdiction and requested their assistance in obtaining a search warrant.
The search warrant was served and additional evidence recovered. Our investigative assistance led to the indictment of an individual for:
2925.11B - Felony 4th Degree POSSESSION OF COCAINE-
2913.34 - Misdemeanor 1st Degree TRADEMARK COUNTERFEITING
2921.03 - Felony 3rd Degree INTIMIDATION
2921.51 - Misdemeanor 4th Degree IMPERSONATING A PEACE OFFICER
Here’s where it gets interesting. The above individual is an ex-con, jail house lawyer whose live-in-girl friend is a para-legal who practices law without a license. To cut the story short the above two with the assist of an individual from Franklin County, who we previously investigated for their involvement in criminal activity filed a Civil Protection Order in Franklin County against our agency to cease and desist our investigation of their illegal activities. Upon having a hearing on said CPO we learned that it was an attempt by the indicted to question my undercover investigation into his criminal activities for which he was indicted.
Ok, let’s get back to the issue at hand. As part of the testimony in the CPO hearing we had to produce for the Franklin County Deputy running security for the court room and to the magistrate our individual PI license, the one issued by the Ohio Department of Public to all investigators and security guards in the State of Ohio. What an embarrassment.
That’s where the fun began, neither the Deputy nor the Magistrate; believed the “Mickey Mouse” ID, designed by Walt Disney and issued by the Ohio Department of Public Safety was a real ID Card.
For those past fifteen years of dealing with the State of Ohio our industry has requested something as simple as an official ID issued to every license holder and their employees; but our controlling entity the Ohio Department of Public Safety, ie. The Ohio State Highway Patrol” somehow has it in their mind that if we show a proper State Issued ID someone may mistake us for a law enforcement officer or heaven forbid a State Trooper.
This comes from an entity that for 15 years has lobbied against our industry obtaining anything in reform or professionalism. This comes from an entity whose director was the OSP lobbyist who for the past fifteen years spoke against every progressive change that the industry attempted to make.
Initially when the PI/SG industry was moved to the Department of Homeland Security from the Ohio Department of Commerce the PI/SG industry was promised that they would never be under the control of the Highway Patrol or its retired officers. Guess what?
So before I die, and I am quickly approaching age 70, like to see the following:
1. The State of Ohio, Department of Public Safety, live up to one of its promises and obligations to the PI/SG industry. Just one. A new ID would be nice.