Operations Division

The Operations Division is responsible for providing basic police services and consists of three basic bureaus, uniformed patrol, investigations, and communications.

 The uniformed patrol unit consists of fifty-six (56) deputies. 
The fifty-six (56) deputies consist of a chief deputy and a captain. 
Through a policing contract there are fifteen (15) deputies assigned to Plain Township, three (3) deputies assigned to Lexington Township and one (1) deputy assigned to forty hours a week in Pike Township.
There are one and a half (1 1/2) deputies assigned as Domestic Violence investigators with the salaries provided by a  VAWA grant. 
One (1) deputy assigned to MRDD to investigate abuse cases at all MRDD locations, paid for by MRDD. 
One (1) deputy assigned to Child Support Enforcement to serve warrants on dead beat parents, paid for by Job and Family Services. 
One (1) deputy assigned as a Child Sexual Abuse investigator paid for through SCCOG. 
Three (3) deputies assigned as school resource officers paid for through a grant. 
Three (3) deputies to enforce litter control and manage our scales for over loads in the county paid for through a grant from the Waste District. 
One (1) deputy assigned to CCW two (2) days a week and paid from the funds collected for issuing CCW permits. 
Two (2) deputies are assigned for civil process through out the county from the general budget.

Each shift (days, afternoons and midnights) has five (5) deputies and two (2) sergeants assigned for a total of twenty-one (21) deputies.  The most working any shift is three (3) deputies and one (1) sergeant allowing for days off.  The day shift deputies are primarily responsible for transporting prisoners to the Common Pleas Court and the State Penitentiary.  Day shift deputies will respond to calls for service through out Stark County when completed in court or returning from the prisons.  The process servers and those on station are relied upon to respond to emergencies during the day shift.  The afternoon and midnight deputies respond to calls through out the county as dictated by the demand for service.  

The men and women who serve in this unit provide daily police service to 170,000 people out of Stark County's 378,098 population.  In 2008, 64,763 calls were dispatched for service.  Officers assigned to patrol are state certified peace officers and are trained in first aid, human relations, patrol techniques and procedures, domestic violence, demented persons, firearms, alcohol and drug abuse, juvenile offenses, traffic control and accident investigations.  The functions of the road patrol result in deputies patrolling more than 1,000,000 miles each year.  Deputies investigated 1,685 accidents in 2008 and investigated 13,038 incidents.  In 2008 deputies affected 4,107 criminal arrests and issued 6,700 citations.

Currently, the patrol unit also provides additional law enforcement services to Plain Township and Lexington Township in the form of policing contracts which allows additional deputies to patrol exclusively within those areas.

Deputies also transport prisoners to and from court hearings, prisons and other medical and special appointments.

Deputies provide direct law enforcement services to twelve (12) of Stark County's seventeen (17)  townships, and often are called upon to assist smaller village and township police departments.  Deputies work hand in hand with township firefighters and paramedics at accident and fire scenes.

The Stark County Sheriff's Office, in partnership with the Stark County Crime Watch Program, attend community crime watch meetings and provide information to assist crime watch participants with their program.  The Stark County Sheriff's Office also participates in the Safe and Sober, ABC Buckle Up, National Drunk Drivers and the National Child Safety Programs throughout the year.  The Stark County Sheriff's Office also participates in some local community programs, such as the Stark County Railroad Task Force, Domestic Violence Council, Berlin Lake Safety Council, Stark County Traffic Safety Program, Ohio School Board Association - School Violence Prevention and the Stark County Arson Task Force.

Communication technicians and deputies assigned to the radio - communications unit answer and dispatch calls for the Uniontown & Hartville Police Departments.  Radio communications are also available with the FBI, Secret Service, Crime Lab, Parole, Probation, Coroner, ODNR, and Stark County Parks.

     Deputy Sheriff's conduct investigations into all criminal violations including homicide, aggravated robbery, aggravated burglary, rape, arson, child abuse, stolen vehicles, missing persons, narcotics, felonious assaults, telephone harassment, and all other related offenses.  Deputies are assigned to follow-up on investigations for the above listed criminal violations.  The Chief Deputy and the Captain are notified of all death investigations conducted by the Stark county Sheriff's Office.  Deputies can be assigned to respond to investigations twenty-four (24) hours a day by the Chief Deputy or the Captain.

Deputies work closely with the three different municipal prosecutors and courts, as well as the county prosecutor and court.  Deputies apply for arrest and search warrants in these courts and testify in court at hearings and trials.  The Stark County Sheriff's Office received 1,140 indictments from the Stark County common Pleas Court in 2008.  The Sheriff's Office serves arrest warrants issued out of Alliance, Canton, Massillon Municipal Courts, and the Stark County Common Pleas Court. Indictments and capiases' from the Stark County Common Pleas Court are also served by deputies, along with county and state warrants.  The Sheriff's Office received approximately 3,338 new warrants in 2008.  Extradition's from out of state are handled through the Sheriff's Office and all travel and pick-up arrangements are prepared for the return of the wanted subject.

Deputies prepare photo line-ups for their investigations and , if required, prepare and assist other law enforcement agencies with line-ups.

Deputies were assigned to 3,313 cases and made 4,107 arrests in 2008.

Deputies' conduct monthly countywide intelligence meetings at the Stark County Safety Building where case investigation information is shared with other federal, state, county, city and local law enforcement officers.  Also, parole  and probation officers attend these meetings

The Stark County Sheriff's Office submitted 720 cases to the Canton-Stark County Crime Lab in 2008. A 18.2% increase from 2007.

Records are maintained in a fully automated computer center that also houses millions of criminal and traffic records collected by deputies.

In 2008, an Investigator was assigned to investigate incidents of child sexual abuse in Stark County.  The investigator was assigned 136 cases in 2008 and of those cases 136 were closed resulting in 72 convictions and 55 arrests40 cases involved registered sex offenders where 35 were arrested and 34 plead guilty.  61 were sex abuse cases, 7 were physical abuse cases, 8 were child pornography cases and 3 cases involved the investigation of student/teacher relationship in Stark County.  Deputy John VonSpiegel was the Child Sexual Abuse Investigator in 2008.

Through a policing contract with the Board of Plain Township Trustees, an Investigator was assigned exclusively to Plain Township in 2008.  The Investigator was assigned 210 cases and 103 of those cases were closed.  This is a 49.0% clearance rate.  Deputy Ryan Hostetler was the Plain Township Investigator in 2008.

The clerks assigned to investigations process all the warrants received from the Alliance, Canton, Massillon Municipal Courts, the Stark County Common Pleas Court, the Stark County Family Court, State Parole  and Probation Departments and all out of county and state warrants received by the Stark County Sheriff's Office.  These individuals type reports dictated by the Captain and file all incoming reports.  The clerks were also responsible for mailing out all sex offender notifications.  In 2008,  155,058 sex offender notifications were mailed by an agency contracted by the Stark County Sheriff's Office.

In February 2002, the Stark County Sheriff's Office opened up a brand new six (6) position, eight (8) site Communications Center equipped with an 800-megahertz radio.  The new Communications Center has direct radio contact with county fire services, paramedics, and hospitals.  It is also equipped and capable to warn residents, by the use of the cable TV system, for weather or any countywide emergencies.  Direct Computer services are available to link officers to local, state and federal data banks.  In addition to the current capabilities, the new Communications Center also has the ability to expand.  StarCom averages over 150,000 computer inquires each year

In 2004, the radio system was upgraded to an eight (8) site trunk system with direct communication with the Canton Police Department, Summit County Sheriff's Office and the State Highway patrol.  The system is also capable of communicating with every dispatch center in Stark County.

The Sheriff’s Office also has a fully equipped, self-contained mobile command post. The vehicle contains radio and telephone equipment capable of communicating with any law enforcement agency, fire or paramedic unit, highway department, hospital, or National Guard Unit. The command post has been used as a back-up unit during major power outages, searches for lost children and during the annual Hall of Fame Festival Events. The Sheriff’s Office has a fully equipped Sheriff’s Emergency Response Team (SERT) consisting of a dive team, hostage negotiators, and a special weapons team.

Processing of property is an integral part of the Stark County Sheriff's Office operations and ensures the proper safeguards of evidence, stolen, found and personal property.  The property section is designed to handle all recovered property and evidence coming into the Sheriff's Office possession.  All incoming property is computer bar coded and entered into a computer system which becomes a permanent record of data.

The major areas of responsibility for this position are to receive and ensure the safekeeping of property and evidence turned in by Sheriff's Office personnel.  Preparation of documents is required ensuring proper record keeping and storage of property or evidence.  Releasing evidence and property  to the crime lab, courts, prosecutors, and rightful owners, as legally permitted.  The property officer completes state reports and oversees the destruction of property and evidence, when required, and maintains records of confiscated property.  The Property Officer for the Stark County Sheriff's Office is Frank Douglas.

In 2008, the property officer processed 5,491 items of property and evidence.  Approximately 45 bicycles were taken to the County Auction that was held on August 15, 2008.

The SERT unit was formed in 1993 and has a wide range of duties.  The duties range from an entry team to a search and rescue team. The SERT team could also be utilized to serve warrants and control crowds.  The team currently has ten (10) members, which is broken down into several specialized areas.

The SERT team's main functions consist of assisting in drug search warrants, barricaded subjects and hostage situations..

The DARE program curriculum is taught by a deputy to fifth, seventy and ninth grade students.  Students receive a nine week curriculum.  The classroom sessions are taught by a uniformed deputy, coupled with suggested activities taught by the regular classroom teacher. 

The fifth grade curriculum includes many life skill lessons such as self-esteem, preventing violence, risk taking, decision making skills, how to deal with stress without relying on drugs and how to avoid pressure to join a gang.

The seventh grade curriculum also includes many life skill lessons to assist the students in making better life choices, as well as teaching them that there are consequences to their choices.

The ninth grade curriculum reinforces the seventh grade curriculum and addresses the driving laws and drug laws to include the effect that drugs have on a person.  A wide range of teaching activities are utilized by the officer, question and answer, cooperative learning groups, group discussion, role playing and workbook exercises.  The DARE officer for 2008 was Deputy Melissa Bogunovich.

The Stark County Sheriff's Office has had the Cops In Schools program since 1999.   Deputies were assigned to Canton Local, Marlington Local and Plain Local School Districts in 2008.
    Deputies assigned are involved in dispute resolution, intervention, problem solving and truancy problems.  They act as role models to the students who often see law enforcement personnel in an aggressive or authoritative role.    Deputies work closely with the school administration in identifying problem or at risk students.  The Stark County Sheriff's Office wants to be proactive to identify possible problems before they occur rather than being reactive after the problem has occurred.  the Cops in Schools Officers for 2008 were Deputy Chad Smith and Deputy Terry Brinkman

In April of 2004 the State of Ohio passed a law permitting citizens to carry a concealed weapon.  In 2008 Deputy Marybeth Cottone was responsible for issuing these permits.  Background checks are completed on all individuals applying for concealed weapon permits.  Permits are issued to individuals that are eligible to receive them.
In 2008 Deputy Cottone issued 829 CCW permits.  666 CCW permits were renewed, 8 were suspended, 2 were revoked and 8 permit applications were denied.

Through a grant, the Stark County Sheriff's Office has been able to assign two deputies to further investigate incidents of domestic violence.  The deputies assigned collaborate with prosecutors, victim services, court personnel, probation, judicial, parole officers, social services, children services and adult protective services in this assignment.
In 2008, 920 calls for assistance concerning domestic violence with 407 arrests being made.   In 2007 the total number of female victims totaled 82.0% and that number decreased a small amount to 78% in 2008.