Ohio State Highway Patrol wants citizen crime spotters - Toledo News Now, Breaking News, Weather, Sports, Toledo

Ohio State Highway Patrol wants citizen crime spotters

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TOLEDO, OH (TOLEDO NEWS NOW) - You wouldn't think a winter coat could be a sign of terrorism. This time of year, it's probably not.

But troopers with the Ohio State Highway Patrol (OSHP) say someone wearing a heavy coat in warm temperatures could indicate a bigger problem.

The patrol will begin training people to spot signs of crime in a new program called Community Shield. It's a free program to spot illegal activity on the roadways. Those taking the class will be trained to spot crimes like drunk driving, human trafficking and terrorism.

The course includes videos, discussions, and demonstrations about what people should look for like erratic driving, people using or exchanging drugs, and anything out of the ordinary such as the winter coat example.

Troopers say the program will make a big difference.

"We need your help in order to see what sometimes we don't see, and to try to respond as quickly as possible to assist you as well as the public," said Ohio State Highway Patrol Sergeant Eric Gonzalez.

This is not a course that gives citizens permission to act as police officers. Troopers say anyone who sees something suspicious should pick up the phone and call #677 or just dial 911.

To sign up for the Community Shield program, call any OSHP post in the state. The actual courses will be at the BG Highway Patrol Post on Middleton Pike. Classes start on Saturday, October 14 at 9 a.m. and continue on the second Saturday of each month for the next three months.

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