Hamilton County Sheriff's Department

Ann Thompson / WVXU

Hamilton County Sheriff Jim Neil is quick to brag on Deputy Tony Lipps and other members of the department who use their talents to de-stress.

"The message today (Tuesday) is in short, we're humanizing the badge but we're also letting other people in general understand that it is positive to have outlets," Neil said while taking the media on a tour of Lipps' newly rented Mt. Auburn art studio.

Hamilton County Sheriff's Department / Provided

The Hamilton County Sheriff's Department says because of a visible increase in the number of drivers under the influence of drugs, it is starting to keep track of drug impaired drivers. Sergeant Mike Tarr says this will help the department know where and when to patrol.

Ann Thompson / WVXU

Two and a half months ago the heroin epidemic got so bad the Hamilton County Sheriff's Department decided to partner with the public. While the problem hasn't gone away, detectives are getting lots of leads and are relentless in their efforts to stop dealers.

Provided / Hamilton County Sheriff's Department

Ohio legislators are considering a bill that would require toy guns only be sold in bright colors to help distinguish them from real ones. But it seems some criminals might try using that to their advantage.

The Hamilton County Sheriff's Office reports deputies responding to a call about a man with a weapon located the suspect with a .380 caliber semi-automatic handgun.

A picture of the weapon shows it's been painted red to look like a toy gun.

The suspect was also carrying 9 grams of crack cocaine.

Hamilton County Sheriff's Department

The Hamilton County Sheriff's Department will get two new motorcycles after all.

Commissioners questioned the purchase request last week. But Greg Hartmann says he's satisfied with the Sheriff's response.

"I'm convinced an efficient and legitimate law enforcement purpose was established," says Hartmann.

Hamilton County Sheriff's Department

The Hamilton County Sheriff's Department is responding to Commissioner Greg Hartmann's request for more information about its motorcycle patrol.

Last week, the department asked to buy two new Harley Davidson motorcycles.

Hartmann questioned the purchase given the county's tight budget. "What are they going to be used for? Additional patrols? Are additional staff going to be used to need them? These are not replacement motorcycles."


The Hamilton County Courthouse and Justice Center have something new-a total of 80 solar panels for heating water.

The panels are part of a $20 million dollar project the county says is at no additional cost to taxpayers. With the help of contractors, Hamilton County chose these buildings because they had flat roofs and available space.

The Justice Center:


The family of a man who died after being Tased by Hamilton County Sheriff's deputies is suing the county. The federal civil rights and wrongful death suit alleges deputies acted unreasonably.

Attorney Al Gerhardstein says Gary Roell, Sr. was experiencing a mental health emergency when he was Tased six times.

"This case has aspects of failure to train, failure to have proper policies for encountering mentally ill citizens, as well as improper Taser use," says Gerhardstein.

Tana Weingartner / WVXU

Thanks to a partnership with the Hamilton County Engineer, the Sheriff's office has a new tool for cracking down on overweight loads on county roads. A Ford F-350 has been converted and customized to carry specialized equipment for inspecting Commercial Vehicles.

Homeless children, teens and young adults are a rising concern for police and social workers in Hamilton County.

Lighthouse Youth Services CEO Bob Mecum says homeless kids used to mainly be unhappy runaways.

"Today we're seeing kids who are, for the most part, long-term victims of poverty, long-term victims of neglect, and physical and sexual abuse," says Mecum.

Addiction is another major problem. Mecum says heroin use today is unprecedented and often passed down to children by their parents.