Department of Safety head urges Rotarians to help fight crime


First Posted: 4/14/2014

LIMA — The former head of the Ohio State Highway Patrol told Lima Rotarians on Monday he had a surefire method for them to get out of a speeding ticket.

John Born told them to take out a pad and pen to take notes.

As all were listening, Born gave them the surefire trick.

“If you carry this with you, you will never get a speeding ticket. Don’t speed. That’s it,” he said.

Born, now the director of the Ohio Department of Public Safety, spoke to Rotarians about public safety matters, including imploring them to be crime fighters. Born asked Rotarians how many of them had smartphones, of which nearly all raised their hands.

He told them they could take pictures of possible criminal activity or call authorities to check it out.

He said the public has phoned in good tips that has caught criminals, led to large seizures of drugs and freed victims of human trafficking.

“Each one of you who has that phone in your hand, you have an incredible power,” Born said.

Born said Ohio’s 990 deaths on the state’s roadways last year was the lowest number in history. He credited enforcement, education, engineering and emergency care for the success.

“Many people who are surviving would not have before,” he said of the emergency care.

Law enforcement officials also are taking steps to hold others responsible for a fatal crash such as the shop owner who sells alcohol to an underage person, he said.

Born also hit on other areas such as human trafficking. He said residents are crucial in stopping it by reporting anything that seems out of the ordinary.

Forced labor and forced prostitution are big in northwest Ohio. Born urged people to take it personal and treat the crime and any situation as serious as they would if the victim was their daughter or son.

“It’s not someone else’s kid, it’s our kids,” he said.

He said heroin is an epidemic that likely affects nearly every resident in the state in one way or another.