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Published: Thursday, 4/27/2006

Task force makes its 1st felony arrest

FOSTORIA - A new zero tolerance task force that's operating in the city of Fostoria has announced its first felony arrest since its formation was announced last month.

The task force, which consists of a deputy each from Seneca, Wood, and Hancock counties, apprehended Noel Sims, 25, on a charge of possession of methamphetamines and a concealed weapon, the task force said.

Mr. Sims was arrested around 6 p.m. Saturday near the intersection of East Lytle and South Poplar Streets.

The Zero Tolerance Task Force, which operates independently of the Fostoria police department, has made 120 traffic stops resulting in 51 citations and 85 warnings and participated in 14 drug investigations since April 2. Deputies have arrested three motorists for driving while intoxicated.

John McGuire, Fostoria's newly appointed police chief, said he met with Hancock County sheriff's deputy Michael Cortez, the lead deputy for the city's task force, later that day to discuss the task force and what he felt was a lack of communication.

Chief McGuire said yesterday he was surprised to learn that, in the past, local officers have handled investigations of actions taken by their fellow officers.

In the future, he said, such inquiries will be handled by outside law enforcement agencies.

The chief has set a public meeting for 5 p.m. today at Kaubisch Memorial Public library to provide a forum for residents to learn what he plans for the department and to voice concerns.

Applications for the city's block watch program will be available at the meeting, he said.

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