Lucas County Sheriff John Tharp vowed Thursday to help keep up a collaborative effort by local, state, and federal law enforcement agents to arrest individuals wanted in domestic violence cases as he released the results of the county’s latest domestic violence roundup Thursday.
“We don’t stop,” Sheriff Tharp said. “We continue to arrest. We continue to be aggressive. Our officers throughout the county are looking for these individuals. And we will continue doing this throughout the years.”
Law enforcement agents arrested 47 domestic violence suspects in a countywide sweep from 6:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday. Of the 47 arrested, 11 are women, the Lucas County Sheriff’s Office said.
The 17th annual Domestic Violence Warrant Sweep involved about 75 officers from 25 agencies, Sheriff Tharp said.
As of Thursday morning, 97 people had been arrested during October in the county on domestic violence charges, and between 200 and 220 in 2013 in a collaborative law enforcement effort, the sheriff said.
He spoke during a morning news conference at the EMS/911 Training Center, 2147 Jefferson Ave. Besides the local media, area dignitaries, representatives of area nonprofit groups, and local, state and federal agencies who were involved in the sweep attended.
Law enforcement agencies represented included the Toledo Police Department, the Lucas County Prosecutor’s Office, the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigations, the U.S. States Marshals Office, and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency. There were also representatives of other police departments, area nonprofit organizations, and volunteer groups that assist domestic violence victims.
“All the people here represent the tools necessary to eradicate domestic violence,” said Tina Skeldon Wozniak, a Lucas County commissioner. “But the law enforcement tool is so critical because it is a known fact that if offenders believe that they can get away with offending, then they are going to that again.”
Toledo Police Chief Derrick Diggs agreed in an interview after the news conference.
“The way to stop domestic violence is to stop the cycle of violence,” Chief Diggs said. “And when we get those individuals identified, we’ve got to get them off the streets. And that’s what this roundup is all about — to put a whole concentrated effort by a lot of law enforcement personnel ... to get them of the street and get them in the court system so that we can protect the victims.”
Making domestic violence charges stick “is part of the investigators’ job and that’s part of the prosecutors’ job and they are doing a very good job at that,” the police chief said.
Arthur Jones, Jr., board chairman for the Bethany House shelter, which serves battered women and children, said more investigators are needed to make sure the arrested don’t walk away free.
“And that shouldn’t happen, but it does,” Mr. Jones said. “So what I am saying is, ‘You guys are doing a wonderful job. You’ve got some bad guys off the streets. But we need some more investigators.’ ”