Dayton bus stop crime highlights ongoing violations by Ohio RTAs

On December 5, the Dayton Daily News published a story documenting a growing problem that is facing the Greater Dayton Regional Transit Authority (the city's public bussing system).

According to the newspaper, high crimes at and around a downtown hub building at Third and Main is increasing pressure on the GDRTA to reconsider its transit hub system that concentrates large numbers of busses downtown.

The DDN story stated that the reported crimes at Third and Main and Fourth and Main streets are on track to equal the 290 reported last year.

Dayton Police Lt. Matt Carper, commander of the central business district, told the DDN he has been very vocal about the problems.

"It's uncomfortable for the business people to walk through the big crowds of unruly people," Carper told the newspaper.

According to the police lieutenant, through September, there were 221 crimes reported at those intersections, including 62 assaults, 62 larceny/thefts or robbery offenses, 24 drug offenses and three sexual assaults.

When speaking of discussions with downtown residents and businesses about increasing the special tax paid by downtown property owners, Maureen Pero, president of the Downtown Dayton Partnership said "overall, the general complaint was that the Third and Main area was not safe..."

RTA board member Jerome Brunswick told the DDN it is hard for him to understand why no one foresaw the problems associated with concentrating so many people at one intersection.

The story said that RTA moved some of its student traffic to other downtown stops earlier this year to reduce pressure on Third and Main, but "problems persist".

The DDN concludes with this:

Charles Giles, an eight-year veteran of the RTA board whose term ends this year, also sat on the RTA 2000 committee that recommended hubs. He believes the concept was a good one but said there is no reason not to go back and make changes.

And he called for the community to step forward to help RTA resolve its downtown hub issues.

"I'm on the record saying there's a problem. You just have to walk down there," said Giles. "I still think it's going to take everyone working together to find what the solution is."

After learning of these crime problems, and because we are aware of several other RTA systems in Ohio which illegally ban concealed carry, OFCC sent an inquiry to the GDRTA to determine its policy toward licensed CHL-holders. It took more than a week to obtain this short answer:

  1. ----- Original Message -----
    From: "Dean, Carolyn" Sent: Tuesday, December 14, 2004
    Subject: RE: Concealed carry?

    Currently. we comply with Ohio Revised Code. We prohibit concealed
    weapons on all RTA properties.

As Ohio CHL-holders are well aware, Ohio Revised Code prohibits concealed carry in buildings owned by the state or a political subdivision (such as the GDRTA).

However, the ORC does NOT prohibit license-holders on property outside the building itself, nor does it prohibit license-holders from traveling on city busses. Policies or signs posted to the contrary are a violation of the intent of the General Assembly, and put innocent people at risk.

In an email response an OFCC supporter investigating the Toledo transit system's ban, Senator Randy Gardner inquired with Ohio Attorney General Jim Petro's office on the subject of city busses. Sen. Gardner's office replied as follows:

"The AG's office is under the belief that public busses are not exempted and that local ordinances can't override state law."

What do these cities bureaucrats have against their less fortunate neighbors? Why do they continue to support policies which would ensure that they remain defenseless? Shouldn't a worker who travels to her job site via public transportation have the right to bear arms for self-defense, just as does a woman who travels to work in her personal automobile?

One hopes that when "everyone" at the GDRTA get together, they will discover that whatever the solution is, it is NOT to attempt to enforce an illegal ban on self-defense at this or any other public transport area. Ohioans deserve the human right of self-defense no matter where they are.

GDRTA bureaucrats can be reached by email, or see here for other ways to contact the GDRTA.

The following political subdivisions in Ohio are subverting the will of the General Assembly in their efforts to ban CHL-holders from city busses:

Related Stories:

Attorney General: Cities cannot legally ban in parks/ on busses

Terrorists on buses and in malls: Ohio CHL important to Homeland Security

Woman kidnapped from bus stop, raped

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