Middletown, state patrol partnering in battle against meth, heroin

6:57 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 16, 2017 Middletown
Middletown has announced an enhanced partnership between its police department and the Ohio State Highway Patrol. GREG LYNCH / STAFF

Saying he wants the drugs and “bad guys” out of Middletown, Police Chief Rodney Muterspaw announced Wednesday an enhanced partnership between his department and the Ohio State Highway Patrol.

The two agencies have partnered since 2015, when the state patrol provided mutual response to traffic crashes. Last year, the two teamed up to work drug interdiction.

Now, this “even stronger, more efficient” partnership with OSP will cover all gateways into Middletown to “halt drug trafficking,” Muterspaw said.

MORE: 5 big developments in Butler County’s war on heroin

“We don’t care about turf issues,” he said. “We care about a safer Middletown. We just want to get the bad guys off our streets. They can help us get to where we need to be. So rest assured you will see the concentrated effort to move forward in this battle against meth and heroin.”

The partnership, Muterspaw said, will allow Middletown to use its five canine officers to do interdiction with OSP on the interstate, ramps, Ohio 4, Germantown Road and other major thoroughfares.

By using Middletown’s canines in this capacity with the state patrol, the department can be “more efficient and more productive,” he said.

He said the state patrol has jurisdiction and specializes in traffic stops, while Middletown police have drug investigative and street level knowledge. It’s time for the agencies to work together, he said.

Sgt. Dexter Howard of the Ohio Highway Patrol’s Hamilton post said the state patrol is “over saturating” Middletown by going to different areas at different times and different days.

“We’re focusing on the multiple routes into the city to help combat the heroin and opiate crisis,” Howard said.

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