With prom and graduation parties coming up this spring, the Copley Police Department is providing an extra police presence in their township to help parents make sure their child's celebration is a safe one.

Copley Police Chief Mike Mier explains to AkronNewsNow.com how the process works.

"We told parents that if they're planning to have a party at their home, efforts will be made to provide additional patrol to neighborhoods with registered events," he said.

"They just have to register and let us know the date and the time of the party and as long as we have officers available, we can provide this service."

Copley, along with Bath Township and Richfield Police sent out a filer to their respective jurisdictions to let them know about the service, which will be monitoring underage drinking, parking hazards, and other safety concerns.

Chief Mike Mier says it is very common for officers to make arrests for underage drinking and drug activity this time year.

"Its a problem everywhere, and it seems to be this time of year when it's spring, the weather is warm, people are feeling good, and there are proms and graduations to celebrate."

Events taking place in Copley Township may be registered by calling the Copley Police Department during normal business hours.

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He's being called a hero, but he says he was just doing what he was trained to do.

Copley Police officer Ben Campbell got the Congressional Badge of Bravery for his response to the August 2011 Copley mass shootings.

Officer Campbell credits his department's teamwork and training in dealing with active shooting situations...a change from how such situations used to be handled.

"A big shooting or a tragic event, and everyone was going 'don't be a hero, don't go in," Campbell told reporters after being presented the medal by U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown. "But from prior active shootings, we discovered that if the officer waits and waits for backup, more people are going to be killed."

Campbell says that training made his decision on the morning of August 11th a simple one.

"You know, I need to go in just like I'm trained, I need to 'go toward the bullets', so to speak," Campbell says. "But also, communicating with dispatch, letting my 'police army' know where I am so at some point they're going to flow into where I am, and I knew I'd have that."

Officer Campbell still can't fathom what happened on a quiet day in 2011 in Copley.

"I was probably more surprised than anybody to respond to a call like that," Campbell says. "Sometimes I just sit back and reflect, and I'm still shocked that it even happened."

Campbell received the Badge of Bravery, a medal presented to local law enforcement by Congress, at a Copley hotel on Monday.

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A patrol officer and two dispatchers from the Copley Police Department will be honored for their actions taken during the deadly shooting rampage on August 7.

Patrolman Ben Campbell will receive the "Top Cops" award from the National Association of Police Organizations on May 12 in Washington D.C.  

 Campbell shot and killed gunman Michael Hance after a 10-minute shooting spree that killed seven people.

Dispatchers Michael Emerson and Sara Justice will be honored with the "Double Gold" award from the Ohio Gold Star Award program on April 11.


Published in Local
Tuesday, 06 March 2012 07:02

Copley PD Report On Akron Judge Upheld

Copley's police chief issues a report supporting his officer's findings when he discovered an Akron Judge and a public defender partially clothed inside a car that smelled of alcohol.

The Beacon Journal reports Police Chief Michael Mier conducted an internal investigation two weeks after the attorney of Akron Municipal Judge Joy Malek Oldfield said the report was fabricated.

Mier disagreed and says the report made by Patrolman Thomas Ballinger was not fabricated and he did not have a political motive to embellish it.

Following the investigation, Mier also released transcripts of texts messages sent between officers about the incident.

On Feb. 5., Ballinger found public defender Catherine Loya in a car with Oldfield outside a strip mall around 1:45 a.m.

Ballinger reported he had observed a woman's head come up from the back seat and look out the rear window. His report says two women put their clothes on and moved to the front seat.

Loya was arrested for drunken driving-related charges after she refused to step out of the car to take a breath test. Her driving licence was suspended.

Loya has since been reassigned to another courtroom.

The Akron Bar Association is also investigating the incident and may send the case to the Ohio Supreme Court.

On the Web: www.ohio.com 

Editor's note: AkronNewsNow.com has disabled comments on this story.



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The Akron Bar Association requests Copley Police documents involving an Akron municipal court public defender.

AkronNewsNow.com reported on Tuesday that Catherine Loya, a public defender, would be re-assigned following a Feb. 5 police report from Copley that indicated she refused a breathalyzer test when found in a car with Akron Municipal Court Judge Joy Oldfield. A Copley police officer reported the vehicle smelled of alcohol.

The Beacon Journal reports police documents regarding the incident are now in the hands of the Akron Bar. Any investigation by the association would be a private manner and findings could eventually be passed on to the Ohio Supreme Court.

On Tuesday, City Prosecutor Doug Powley questioned a potential conflict on reports from the Beacon Journal that stated Oldfield provided a ride to work for Loya following the incident. Loya lost her license to drive pending a citation for physical control of a vehicle and refusing the test.

Powley says he has reviewed the allegations with his courtroom prosecutor and has been assured that there has been "no adverse results" during the time that Judge Oldfield served in the courtroom.

The newspaper reports Oldfield's attorney admits she had been drinking that night, but John Hill says she was not drunk. He told the Beacon Journal on Sunday that the judge is "dumbfounded and incredibly upset" by the report, and there is "no unusual or inappropriate relationship" with Loya.

Previous Coverage: 

Public Defender Reassigned Following Allegations

Akron Judge Center of Police Report Flap

Published in Local
Sunday, 19 February 2012 09:01

Akron Judge Center Of Police Report Flap

An Akron judge is at the center of controversy over a Copley Township police report that claims she and a public defender were partially-clothed and inside a car that smelled of alcohol.

The Akron Beacon Journal reports Municipal Court Judge Joy Malek Oldfield and Assistant Public Defender Catherine Loya are part of a Copley PD report of a February 5th incident when the car they were in was seen at 1:45 in the morning in a parking lot off Ridgewood Crossing Drive. Officer Thomas Ballinger reported he came upon the car, which was running and had the lights on, and observed a woman's head come up from the back seat and look out the rear window. Ballinger's report says two women put their clothes on and moved to the front seat.

The newspaper reports an attorney representing Oldfield (photo at left, www.lawyer.com) admits she had been drinking that night but John Hill says she was not drunk. He tells the Beacon Journal the judge is "dumbfounded and incredibly upset" by the report, and there is "no unusual or inappropriate relationship" with Loya.

Hill wants an investigation and says Ballinger added details on the incident in a supplemental report filed days later. Copley Police Chief Michael Mier tells the newspaper Ballinger had "no motivation to embellish" the report. 

Hill told the newspaper Oldfield and her husband had been socializing that evening with friends, and was upset on learning of a serious illness of a family member. Oldfield's husband, Hill said, went home but urged the judge to remain with friends. Oldfield, Hill told the Beacon Journal, was in the car with Loya and asked her to park the car so she could finish a cigarette and compose herself.

Ballinger's report says Oldfield identified herself as a judge and told the officer she had been drinking. The officer reports he asked Loya to step out of the car and take a breath test, but she refused. She was cited and the case is pending in Barberton Municipal Court.

Editor's note: comments on this story have been disabled due to previous posts.

Published in Local
Friday, 11 November 2011 06:41

VIDEO What Your Child May Be Hiding

You might want to take a closer look at some of the ordinary items in your teenager's bedroom.

Copley and Bath Police Departments teamed up to create Hidden In Plain Sight, a program designed to show parents how to look for signs of potential risky behaviors.

Youth Director Marcie Mason created the program with help from Downing Enterprises to give parents a hands on lesson on how to keep their kids safe.

"We thought this (exhibit) might help and even prevent some arrests if parents are aware of what they need to look for," Mason said.

Copley Detective Paul Webb says the exhibit is filled with around 140 items with some taken from youths in juvenile diversion programs, parents, police and purchased from head shops.

Water bottles, snack cans and cabinets are all disguised as ordinary items that are actually created to store and hide items.

VIDEO What Your Child May Be Hiding In Their Bedroom

"I think it's your responsibility as a parent to guide your children. Maybe they make some mistakes but if you can identify some of those mistakes and help them learn from it, that's what this exhibit is about," Webb said.

Webb says parents shouldn't be afraid to snoop through their teenager's room because it not only can help a child, but it can save their life.

The exhibit current hot item that hints to substance abuse is a digital scale disguised as a computer mouse.

Both Mason and Webb say they hope parents will learn to keep an eye out for hidden items that could be dangerous to their child's health.

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The officer who shot and killed Copley gunman Michael Hance on Sunday, August 7th says he was "scared" and "vulnerable" during those moments when he and a former officer were trying to track down the man responsible for killing seven neighbors and family members.

Copley Police Officer Ben Campbell spoke with NewsChannel 5's Bob Jones just hours after Summit County Prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh released her ruling that the shooting of Hance was justified given the circumstances.

Campbell and former partner Keith Lavery, who served together on the University of Akron police force, were present in the minutes after Hance went on his murderous rampage, first targeting and critically wounding his longtime girlfriend, Rebecca Dieter. He shot and killed Dieter's brother Craig and his 11-year old son Scott; neighbors Russel and Gudrun Johnson, their son Bryan, his daughter Autumn and her friend Amelia Shambaugh.

In the interview with NewsChannel 5, Campbell said he fired three rifle shots at Hance from 60 feet away, striking Hance twice. Campbell said he was at first unsure if his shots hit their intended target because Hance continued to run for a brief period. Campbell told the television station he was "100 percent confident" with the decisions he made.

On the Web:  WEWS-TV www.NewsNet5.com


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