Belmont County Sheriff's Office
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Sheriff David M. Lucas
Belmont County Sheriff David M. Lucas announced the implementation of a Law Enforcement Exploring Program in collaboration with the Ohio River Valley Council of the Boy Scouts of America (“BSA”). The Sheriff’s Office will hold an Open House and Recruiting Event on October 6 from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Sheriff’s Office substation located on the back side of the Ohio Valley Mall. Appropriate health precautions and social distancing will be in place. Law Enforcement Exploring Programs (“Explorers”) are a nationally recognized, hands-on program open to Belmont County young men and women who have completed the eighth grade and are at least 14 years old and under the age of 21 years, and have an interest in law enforcement or the criminal justice system. The program is designed to promote personal growth, character development, respect for the rule of law, physical fitness, good citizenship, patriotism, and interpersonal communication skills. These attributes are developed through training, practical experiences, mentoring, competition, and other activities.
“This is an excellent opportunity for Belmont County youth who meet the criteria and are admitted to the Explorer program to gain in-depth training, mentoring and hands-on experience in law enforcement and the criminal justice system while providing a meaningful service to this Office and Belmont County”, stated Sheriff Lucas. “The Explorer Program has been a goal of mine for quite some time and it is exciting to see it come to fruition”, according to Lucas. The Open House and Recruiting Event on October 6 will give interested youth and their parents an opportunity to learn more about what the Explorer Program has to offer. The program has submitted the documentation to become a recognized Post and has been assigned the Post number of 0007. A command structure for the program and the Post Committee has been put in place and includes Sheriff Lucas, Chief Deputy James Zusack, Lt. Glenn Moore, Assistant Jail Administrator Stanley Galownia, and Outreach Coordinators Sherri VanTassel and Taylore Frasnelly. Lucas noted that other Belmont County Sheriff’s Office (“BCSO”) staff will be assigned as needed for specific duties such as training or experiential learning.
Belmont County young men and women who are within the age range noted are invited to attend the Open House and Recruiting Event on October 6 from 5 – 8 p.m. to learn more about the program and training academy, and to meet representatives of various Divisions of BCSO. Interested youth can also go to the BSCO website, download and print an Explorer Application. Once completed, the application needs to be submitted to BCSO for review. Chosen applicants will be interviewed either via telephone during the need for COVID 19 precautions or in person as changes in restrictions permit. Applicants, in addition to the age restrictions, must also maintain a “C” average in school or complete at least 6 college credits per semester, and commit at least eight (8) hours of service to BCSO per month. Applicants will also undergo a background check. BCSO’s Explorer Academy is 7 (seven) weeks, one day a week for four (4) hours. Monthly meetings will also be held.
Sheriff Lucas notes that this has been a team effort, “Chief Zusack and Lt. Moore put the training outline together and aligned it with topics from the Ohio Peace Officers Training Academy (“OPOTA”); the leadership of the BSA’s Ohio River Valley Council has been generous with their time and expertise to ensure the our office has the appropriate training, background checks and structure to support the Explorer Program; and BCSO’s Outreach Coordinators Sherri VanTassel and Taylore Frasnelly have pulled the materials together to support a thriving and successful Explorer Post. This is an exciting opportunity for Belmont County youth interested in careers in law enforcement and the criminal justice system.”
Belmont County has been placed under a level two snow emergency. A level two snow emergency means that roads are hazardous. Only those who feel it is necessary to drive should do so. Drivers are encouraged to call their employers to verify that they need to report to work.
Please continue to be aware of weather conditions, and stay up to date with all the current snow emergency levels by checking in at the Belmont County Sheriff's Office website.
Trick or Treats:
In groups of only four or five with a responsible adult, or teen accompanying each group.
With at least one person in the group carrying a flashlight in case it begins to get dark.
In your own neighborhood, on well-lighted streets. Only go to homes you know and that have porch lights on.
Safely by never entering a strangers house even if invited and never take a ride from a stranger.
Using sidewalks when possible. Walk! Never run across yards. Look both ways before crossing streets.
Never eat treats from trick-or-treating until they are examined by a parent.
Check wrappers of pre-packaged treats for signs of tampering and throw away anything unwrapped.
If harmful items are found, notify your local law enforcement agency.
Always know who is sponsoring the activity and how long it will last.
Older children may wish to help supervise instead of trick-or-treating.
Keep any paper decorations well away from heat or flames.
Have fun activities: Bobbing for apples, costume contests (most original, funniest, and scariest).
Wear comfortable street shoes. Avoid big, floppy shoes.
Trick-or-treat bays should have handles to keep arms free.
Bags should be easy to carry and should not drag on the ground.
Carry-along props should be made of Styrofoam or cardboard with no sharp points.
Hats, wigs, or beards should be secure and out of eyes.
Avoid encouraging children to enter a stranger’s house. Never invite trick-or-treaters into your home.
Give self-wrapped, homemade treats only to children you know, and wrapped commercial treats to others.
Know the supervising adult, which friends your children will be with, and exactly what route they will be taking.
Do not leave your home unattended on Halloween Night.
Leave a porch light on, so children will know its okay to visit your home.
Keep pets inside the house, garage, or shed.
Use flashlights or LED Candles in Jack-lanterns.
Belmont County Sheriff’s Office: OffenderWatch® a sex offender mapping and alerting service aids citizens in avoiding dangerous homes.
In Belmont County, there are approximately 136 registered sex offenders, and we want you to know where they reside so that you avoid those houses when trick-or-treating. “We do the best we can in making sure sex offenders live where they tell us, so it is crucial that our citizens visit our website: www.belmontsheriff.com, to see who the registered sex offenders are an where they are living.” says Belmont County Sheriff David Lucas. Citizens are encouraged to check any addresses where they or family spend time. Sheriff Lucas says “The mapping and address feature found on the website pinpoints exactly where an offender lives.”
You will also find may other beneficial tools such as the ability to sign up for FREE automatic email notifications informing you if an offender moves within a specified radius of any address you register. “If you aren’t planning on trick-or-treating in your neighborhood, but will be in a family or friend’s neighborhood, register their address beforehand so you know which houses to avoid. You can register any and all of the addresses where your children spend a lot of time: for example friend’s grandparent’s or babysitter’s addresses” says Sheriff Lucas. The alerts are in real-time and sent out via e-mail as soon as a new offender has registered with the Belmont County Sheriff’s Office. Sheriff Lucas says “The benefit of registering for this free confidential e-mail alert service is that it allows us to monitor your important addresses for you, thereby keeping you up to date of newly registered offenders and making it unnecessary for you to have to check your important addresses daily or even weekly.”
The website for the Belmont County Sheriff’s Office is www.belmontsheriff.com. Citizens should click on the link “Sex Offender Registry Search” on the right hand side under “Links” and follow the instructions to check their neighborhood and sign up to receive FREE e-mails alerts.
Sheriff Lucas encourages everyone to have a fun and safe Halloween. Knowledge is power and knowing where the registered sex offenders reside in your area can help you make the best choices for safe and enjoyable Halloween activities.
For further information, please call the Sergeant Glenn Moore with the Belmont County Sheriff’s Office at 740-695-7933 ext. 134.
Most people in law enforcement say they embarked on their careers because they wanted to help people. Ohio Valley Mall is hoping to make that a little easier for them starting Thursday, May 12. Belmont County Sheriff David Lucas will cut the ribbon on a new Sheriff’s Sub-Station at 10:00 AM that day. The new 2,500 square foot office will be located just inside the south entrance to the mall, next to the Belmont County Tourism Office.
Sheriff Lucas said, “Having this conveniently-located sub-station will make our deputies more easily accessible to average citizens. There, they’ll be able to learn more about public safety programs. Having this location provided to us by the Cafaro Company will allow us to work closely with the residents of Belmont County on safety projects and programs. I want to thank Anthony Cafaro Jr. and his staff for all the support they give Belmont County Sheriff’s Office and the residents of Belmont County.”
One such initiative, Project Lifesaver, provides timely response to protect the lives of children and adults suffering with autism or Alzheimer’s disease. Through this program, the Sheriff’s Office is able to provide such individuals with small, reliable tracking devices that allow them to be easily located should they wander from home. Another is the RUOK Program. This is an automated phone program that checks up on elderly, disabled and others living at home. It will alert key holders to any problems.
Lucas has been praised for measures he’s taken to make his department more efficient and to save tax dollars. Ohio Valley Mall is providing space for the new sub-station at no cost.
“We’ve always had a great relationship with the Sheriff and his deputies” said Anthony Cafaro, Jr., Co-President of Ohio Valley Mall’s parent company. “We hope this new office space makes their jobs a little easier and provides a convenient service for our regular customers.”
The recently renovated Ohio Valley Mall is located on I-70, Exit 218-Mall Road, in St. Clairsville, Ohio. For more information call 740-695-4526 or explore online at www.ohiovalleymall.net. Ohio Valley Mall is owned and managed in association with Cafaro Company affiliated entities, based in Youngstown, Ohio. One of the nation’s largest privately held shopping center developers, the Cafaro organization owns and oversees more than 30 million square feet of commercial real estate in 10 states. Founded by the late William M. Cafaro in the 1940’s, the firm is now in its seventh decade as a family owned and managed business. For more information visit www.cafarocompany.com.
Sheriff Dave Lucas gave an update on the countless upgrades and positive changes to his office. Lucas spoke on creating the county’s first-ever major crimes unit, standardizing duty weapons at no cost to the county and securing approval for more staff members in the jail, among a number of other improvements.
The Chautauqua Days 5K made its yearly donation toward the protection of children from online sexual predators and announced the initiative will now be under the management of the Union Local School District.
The Belmont County Sheriff’s Office honored Assistant Coroner, Jack Morgan’s retirement on Monday, May 18, 2015. Invited guests and Coroner, Dr. Troy Balgo were present when Sheriff Lucas presented him with a plaque thanking him for his dedication to Belmont County. A lunch was provided for Mr. Morgan and guests.
The Belmont County Department of Jobs & Family Services and the Belmont County Board of Commissioners recognize individuals and organizations who are working together to advocate for abused and neglected children in Belmont County. Each year they choose an advocate within our community who has gone out of their way to help these children. This year the Child Advocate of the Year Award was presented to Leslie Vassilaros at the Annual Child Abuse & Neglect Prevention Lunch, held at Undo’s West in St.Clairsville on April 16, 2015. Leslie is the Executive Director of Harmony House Children’s Advocacy Center. Harmony House exists to ensure that no child is further victimized by systems designed to protect her or him. The child well-being is the first priority.
Pictured is Leslie Vassilaros and Belmont County Department of Jobs & Family Services Director Vince Gianangeli.
Joe Krehlik was recently put on as a Special Deputy with the Belmont County Sheriff’s Office. He is a Certified Professional Photographer.
He will be available to take photos of cases that are not being processed by BCI & I. He will be an asset to our organization, bringing his professional photography to us for use in investigations through prosecution.
Phil Chalmers was recently put on as a Special Deputy with the Belmont County Sheriff’s Office. He is one of America’s Leading Authorities on Juvenile Homicide and Juvenile Mass Murder. For more information on Special Deputy Chalmers you can visit his web site at www.philchalmers.com.
Captain Ron Everett was honored with a “Certificate of Appreciation” and his “Years of Service Stars” for his 30 years of service to the Belmont County Sheriff’s Office. In the picture, Sheriff David Lucas is presenting Captain Ron Everett the certificate and stars.
Belmont County Sheriff David Lucas and sheriff’s deputies conducted a self defense demonstration for courthouse staff as part of the county Wellness Committee program.
Read more on the Times Leader website.
A traffic stop in the Morristown area was made successful by K-9 Luke and the assistance of the Ohio State Highway Patrol on Thursday. Drugs and numerous drug-related paraphernalia were recovered and 40-year-old Jamie Cole was charged with driving while under the influence, drug trafficking, as well as possession of cocaine, heroin, and drug abuse instruments.
Read more on the WTOV9 website.
Members of the Belmont County Sheriff’s Office arrested a man facing numerous charges involving child pornography earlier this week. And on Friday morning, Sheriff Dave Lucas said with the help and support of commissioners, many of these kinds of arrests are forthcoming. “Pretty much within a week, we got our first case on hand,” Lucas said.
Read more on the WTOV9 website.