Dispatch: Patrol fires three-time best trooper

A three-time "trooper of the year" has been fired from his job with the State Highway Patrol for conduct unbecoming an officer.

Robert L. Burd, 31, was fired on May 20, said patrol spokeswoman Sgt. Robin R. Schmutz. Burd, a union member, has filed a grievance with the state’s Office of Collective Bargaining to fight the dismissal, said spokesman Ben Piscitelli.

Burd pleaded not guilty last month in Hardin County Common Pleas Court to three misdemeanor assault charges and two felony charges of intimidating a witness, according to court records.

He and his two brothers are accused of attacking several people in the parking lot of a Kenton bar, about 60 miles northwest of Columbus. The brothers also were charged.

Burd became a trooper in 1993 and served his entire career with the Findlay post in Hancock County, the patrol said. He was named trooper of the year — an honor based on his ethics, leadership qualities, communication skills and enthusiasm for the job — in 2000, 2001 and 2002.

He had been on administrative leave since April, when he was indicted for the alleged fight in June 2002.

OFCC PAC Commentary:
We've asked this before, and it deserves to be asked again: Should we judge by society's worst examples?

Should we judge the Ohio Highway Patrol by this trooper's alleged lack of self-control and violent behavior? Would it be altogether right for us to judge that because of this one trooper's alleged failures, all Ohio trooper's right to carry a concealed firearm for self-defense (which they have now, unlike you), should be removed?

Of course, the answer is no. And the Ohio Highway Patrol certainly would agree with that answer. So why, then, do they continue to judge Ohio's law-abiding citizens in this manner?

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