Ohio sheriff lobbying at RNC raises issues facing officers

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WYTV) – During the Republican National Convention this past week, people in Cleveland lobbied many causes. Among them was a sheriff from Ohio representing sheriffs across the country.

Wood County Sheriff Mark Wasylyshyn is the liaison for the National Sheriff’s Association for the Trump campaign. He made his way through media row at the convention on Tuesday to communicate the issues and concerns he says exist for sheriffs.

Wasylyshyn says people need to understand the proper procedure when they’re approached by police.

“We need a president who, when he meets with Black Lives Matter or other protesters, let them know you can protest, that’s great, you have a right to do that,” he said. “But when you’re given a lawful order by a police officer and they tell you to stop, or put your hands up or drop what’s in your hands, you need to comply with a lawful order.”

Wasylyshyn also wanted to point out that whenever there is a major event such as a bombing or mass shooting, the Sheriff’s Department usually shows up first.

With that in mind, he says he wants the next president to continue providing sheriff’s departments with surplus military equipment.

“We need those tools, we need those armored vehicles, we need those heavy vests because we’re the ones on the front line when this happens.”

The Sheriff’s Association also has issues with the jails. Sheriff’s departments run 85 percent of them, most of which could use more money, because jails are being used to house the mentally ill and those dealing with drugs or alcohol.

“Where are they detoxing? They’re detoxing in jails. Why? Because hospitals don’t want them, they don’t have the beds,” Wasylyshyn said. “So we’re asked to do a lot of things we were not asked to do. We’re taking care of business but we need some support to help us get it done.”

Mahoning County Sheriff Jerry Greene agreed with all three issues Wasylyshyn brought up.

Greene said another problem is that much of the federal funding for sheriff’s departments goes toward drug investigations, when it needs to go directly to jail operations.

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