COLUMBUS - The Ohio Highway Patrol was still on the lookout last night for 17 patrolman jackets that mistakenly were distributed to the homeless.
Five jackets were returned yesterday, in addition to 26 that were immediately recovered once the mix-up was discovered.
The Gore-Tex, waterproof jackets, valued at about $75 each, were being taken to the Cincinnati manufacturer when a delivery vendor mixed up the boxes with others headed for the Open Shelter in Columbus.
“Our concern is not the cost,” said Lt. Gary Lewis, patrol spokesman. “These were surplus jackets that we were returning to the manufacturer. Our concern is public safety. The last thing we want is for someone to misrepresent himself as a trooper.”
Impersonating a police officer is a prosecutable offense. Simply wearing the jacket is not.