Can Ohio State Highway Patrol troopers be trusted with their firearms?

Last week, we reported about Trooper DeLong, a woman who has failed to qualify with her firearm on two separate occasions, has been suspended for abusing the law enforcement database for personal use, and has been fired (then reinstated) from a post at the Statehouse for sleeping while on duty.

We also told you about Trooper Burd, a three-time "trooper of the year" who has been fired from his job with the State Highway Patrol for conduct unbecoming an officer, after being charged with attacking several people in the parking lot of a Kenton bar, about 60 miles northwest of Columbus.

The latest example of an out-of-control Ohio State Highway Patrol trooper comes from Lucas County, where Trooper Rosemary Sullivan was fired for untruthfulness and conduct unbecoming an officer. Sullivan has been convicted, after firing her patrol-issued weapon into the air several times after quarreling with a neighbor's teenage son.

Rosemary Sullivan, 35, of 9235 Angola Rd., Spencer Township, was given a six-month sentence in the Corrections Center of Northwest Ohio, Stryker, but Judge Patrick Foley suspended the sentence and placed her on probation for two years.

She was convicted last month of aggravated menacing and falsification. In return for pleading to the misdemeanor charges, prosecutors dismissed one count each of falsification and tampering with evidence.

The convictions stem from an incident that occurred June 1, 2002, when a neighbor saw Ms. Sullivan drive past their home at 310 South Eber and fire a gun several times into the air.

Earlier in the day the defendant and her husband had quarreled with the neighbor’s teenage son about riding all-terrain vehicles, and Ms. Sullivan later left a message on their answering machine that contained racial slurs and obscenities.

Investigators determined that shell casings found along the road were fired from a patrol-issued weapon that belonged to Ms. Sullivan. When questioned by authorities, she said she gave the 40-caliber Beretta to her father-in-law who lives in Wisconsin.

She subsequently filed a report that it had been stolen from her home. A 10-year veteran of the patrol, she was fired in August for untruthfulness and conduct unbecoming an officer.

Ohio State Highway Patrol Superintendant Paul McClellan says there is no statistical or anecdotal evidence that allowing citizens to carry firearms in their cars will reduce crime or protect the innocent. We have proven that false time and again.

But aside from that debate, one thing IS clear - from Trooper Sullivan to Trooper DeLong to Trooper Burd, there is plenty of anecdotal evidence that OSHP troopers should not be held on a pedestal above other law-abiding citizens.

Click here to read the entire story in the Toledo Blade.

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