State troopers are using a common sense approach in dealing with the public following Governor Mike DeWine’s stay at home order earlier this week, Ohio State Highway Patrol spokesman Sheldon A. Goodrum said Wednesday.
“What we’re looking to do more than anything else is educate the public,” Goodrum said in talking about what might transpire if a trooper pulls someone over for violating the stay at home order. “Of course, it’s always an officer’s discretion, but we’re instructing our state troopers to use common sense. If they can get the point across with a warning and conversation, that’s what we’d like our troopers to be able to do.”
Goodrum also emphasized that troopers are not looking to pull over people if they are traveling to see family members, and that there is no law against traveling through the state, into the state, or out of the state.
“If a family is traveling and trying to get to other members of their family, as long as they are following the directives put out by the department of health, that’s fine,” Goodrum said.
He said even non-residents can travel through the state to reach their destination.
“We had someone call and say they were traveling from Chicago to New York and wanted to know if they had to go around Ohio or could go through Ohio,” Goodrum said. “We’re not looking to jam anybody up. We know life doesn’t stop due to the order. We just want to make sure everyone is being safe and following the rules that are in place.”
While a few minor protocols may have changed, Goodrum said the Ohio State Highway Patrol is at full force, and is doing everything it has always done like looking out for impaired or reckless drivers, making sure drivers are obeying the speed limits, responding to traffic accidents and helping people change a tire or answering other calls for help.
“We’re still doing all of that. Now, rather than actually taking your license, we might just ask you to hold up your license and we can write your information down on our clipboard. Or we may just ask you for your Social Security number,” he said. “It keeps me from giving you germs I might have picked up, and it protects us, too.”
Troopers are also being given disposable gloves in case they have to pat someone down or put someone in a cruiser. And they are disinfecting their vehicles after every shift, just like they have always disinfected their vehicles anytime they put someone in their cruiser, according to Goodrum.
“We’re out there just like we always have been,” he said. “We encourage people to call #677 now just like they used to and the state patrol will be out there to help you with whatever you need help with. If you need us, call us.”
Reach Jeff Gilliland at 937-402-2522.