Does mayor have police chief's back? Duncan says turf war 'has to end'

Huron County commissioner vows to "keep my nose out of (sheriff's) business" in turf war involving Norwalk police chief and sheriff.
Scott Seitz2
May 2, 2014


City and county officials are mostly steering clear of the recent dust-up between the Norwalk Police Department and Huron County Sheriff's Office.

In the past month, the situation has become tense between the two law-enforcement agencies.

Norwalk police want sheriff's deputies to stick to the county, while Sheriff Dane Howard said his troops have every right to investigate cases anywhere in the county, including within city or village limits.

That issue is just one of a few which have apparently cause a "turf war" between the two departments.

Police Chief Dave Light is supervised by safety-service director Bob Patusky, who answers to Norwalk Mayor Rob Duncan.

Howard answers to the voters of Huron County.

Duncan talked about the situation.

"To be quite frank, I've mainly been working on economic development stuff," the mayor said.

Duncan said, though, he did tell Light it's time to move forward.

"I have," the mayor said. "But, it's got to be on both sides.

"This has to end and we have to get back to serving our citizens," Duncan said. "It has to be about the citizens, not about individual preferences.

"The community is to be served and they deserve to be well-served," the mayor said.

"We're never going to agree on everything," Duncan said, adding that doesn't mean "we have to be disagreeable."

Huron County Commissioner Tom Dunlap, who also served as sheriff in the 1980s, offered a few remarks Wednesday.

"My philosophy has always been, and it hasn't changed over the years, cooperation and open communication," Dunlap said.

The commissioner said he's not advising Howard.

"I keep my nose out of his business," he said. "It's his office, it's not my office anymore."

Patusky provided a brief statement.

"We're just monitoring the situation; that's all," he said.




Why isn't the Sheriff hot and heavy in Wakeman? New London? Monroeville, Willard? Bellevue? North Fairfield? Greenwich? There are other areas that he could be serving as well. Seems he does have kind of a "soft spot" for Norwalk. There are other areas of the county that need to have the Sheriff provide service as well. With all the man power he sends into Norwalk, how much is left for the rest of the county?


Well the Huron County Sheriff's Dept. calls Norwalk home, don't they? Or do they have offices in other cities as well? If not, it would kind of make sense that they spend the majority of their time in Norwalk.


The sheriff is working where the votes are. Not that its going to make much of a difference now that he's been exposed. I would think drug dealers would prefer the smaller towns, there police depts tend to be weaker and lack skills in the drug area.


4TH Amendment rights in the Bill of Rights were violated. Who will dust that off and take care of it?


When did this happen? By who and in regards to whom?

J Cooper

Once again this mayor and his lack of leadership and "deer in the headlights look."

"To be quite frank, I've mainly been working on economic development stuff," the mayor said." That's certainly is an outstanding accomplishment with all the new high paying jobs he has brought in, (sarcasm). Can't he multi-task? Six line quote and as usual he said nothing, typical politician, with support and leadership like that I would watch my back if I were Chief Light.

me arse

Duncan is more a man of action than words. He's probably planning to pacify Howard and Light with a free round of jelly doughnuts.


"Duncan is more a man of action than words." Hahaha three years in and we are all waiting on action. He has no idea what is going on.


I'm starting to think the whole county is lacking leadership. No wonder the county is in such bad shape, there's no leadership.


AMEN!!! Now we have 4 pictures of GROWN men acting like little kids. No one is taking responsibility or trying to take care of the situation. Everyone is finger pointing and hiding like little kids. ZERO leadership, ZERO!


the mayor and service director are just passing through every policeman,every fireman and every worker in city offices know it and they basically dare them to do their job,these two wouldn't think of getting on one of them,so nobody is the boss and everybody is the boss

journey rules

I would have to stick up for Chief Light. The HCSO is incompetent !! What was the purpose of 6 sheriff's cruiser's flying down Milan Ave a few days ago at I would say 75 MPH between St. Paul and CVS ??? Then about 4 minutes later they all came driving back by ?? Must have been a real serious crime on the north side of town !!!


Cops are a necessary evil. In Cincinnati last week a 19 year old was shot in the face four times by a cop when HE jumped on her hood for not stopping, killing her instantly. The second video as you scroll down is very emotional. I've read a lot concerning this and I think this cop better leave the area for his safety, people are getting upset with COPS violating their constitutional rights with the power of a licence to murder and a court system of excuses for their buddies.


Why didn't the innocent pre-school teacher just stop and talk to the officer? She drove away with him on her hood? Wtf makes what she did ok?


Maybe she should have listened. But then again, it was not her first run in with the law. She had a prior DUI, her friend had a warrant. Guess that is why she didn't STOP when the cop told her to.

thinkagain's picture

And that warrants a sociopathic control freak jumping on her hood and blowing three holes in her face? My good God woman…you are one compassion-less JUDGMENTAL person.


No, my point was WHY DIDNT SHE STOP when told. Maybe because she had a prior DUI, a passenger had a warrant, she was leaving a drinking party, and was underage. If you are told to STOP, why don't you STOP. One simple gesture, STOPPING. And she would still be alive.


So its okay for an officer, as a first response, to pull their weapon and shoot with the intent to kill if a citizen fails to obey an order? Wow, I really hope that is not what you're trying to say. If so, I hate to tell you this but they found your leader dead in his Führerbunker.


Have you read the article or watched the video? He states he was HIT by her car and then she picked up speed as she tried to leave the scene. She was not stopping as he held on to the hood of her car. What would YOUR response be to this? The story states (as it happened off camera) that she clipped the officer with her car and he rolled onto the hood. She then proceeded to speed up and continue to leave the scene. Why didn't she STOP ? Would you continue to drive away with an officer on your hood? My first instinct would be to a) Stop when told to by an officer. b) If I hit a pedestrian, especially an officer to STOP my car. Not drive away and accelerate.


My response if I was an officer? Roll of the hood as soon as the vehicle engaged in motion and call for backup. This lady obviously isn't listening and my commands aren't stopping her. She just hit me with her car and so obviously this isn't a matter I can control myself. Thank God I was wearing a bullet proof vest that protected me from the car or I could have been hurt more. I would have called for back up and made sure the right charges were brought against her. Its not an officers job to render them useless in order to stop them. This whole shoot to kill mentality is wrong.


He states he was hit, witnesses says he jumped on the hood.... I remember the LA police saying they never beat Rodney, or Vitte didn't do anything illegal but was teaching the child how to cope with life, Jake committed suicide, Huron County Deputies did everything legally.... just what does it take for some to realize that just because there is a badge on a uniform doesn't make an outstanding person who doesn't lie, cheat, commit felonies? With power given the equal amount of control thats given must be in check.

The video that I saw is a car that was already in front or past the cop, and what do you do with witnesses who said he did indeed jump on her hood, call them all liars?

As I stated, he should do what cops tell us, submit to a polygraph, but were all pretty sure he wouldn't, (I can only imagine why)


And of course friends never lie to cover for each other either right? There are bad apples. In all baskets. But, the bottom line is. WHY Didn't she stop her car when he told her to?


Long story short, if she would have done the right thing and complied in the beginning. This would be a non-story


thinkagain: YOU are calling someone JUDGMENTAL?! OMG, that's rich!


The Mayor doesn't have anyone's back but his own....I fully expect him to throw Chief Light "under the bus" so he can kiss up to "Donut Dane" and protect his own A**


I doubt that. Another Dem spouting off at a Rep. No one has any common sense anymore. The two heads have a friggin meeting and settle it. Then shut the heck up.


Dane violated the constitutional of the United States of America and this means nothing to anyone? How sad! He broke the most common and uniformed code that this country has established for protection of its people against this kind of injustice. He didn't just violate one persons rights, he violated everyone's by doing so.

I'm asking for him to resign, now. He doesn't get a second chance or third chance to keep violating laws in this country. I'm calling the appropriate US representative (from Ohio) on Monday about this and I'm asking everyone else to do the same. Please call one of the following and ask them why nothing is being investigated and why Sheriff Dane Howard of the Huron County Sheriff's office can violate constitutional rights that protect against illegal searches.

Please Call;

Jim Jordan- 202-225-2676 (Committee- Oversight and Government
the Judiciary)


Michael Turner- 202-225-6465 (Committee- Armed Services
Oversight and Government)

Please call! There is no safety in Huron County with a treasonous Sheriff on the loose.

I would think otherwise but since the warrant has been sealed and hidden, all we are left to believe is what we are shown. And until a proper search warrant is produced then a violation on the constitution was committed.

Whiskey Tango F...

I am expecting you Mr jakemac25 to step up and fill Sheriff Howard's position. Every breath you take will be monitored and every move you make will be publicly scrutinized. Arrest a drug dealer? He will be out on the streets tomorrow! Do nothing about drugs? You will be the worst officer ever! Monday-morning quarterbacks are always perfect in every way. Here's a good read for everyone to consider...

" In each of the 88 counties of Ohio, the sheriff is the chief law-enforcement officer. His primary duties are to provide common pleas court services and corrections on a countywide basis, and full police protection to the unincorporated areas of the county. However, he also maintains full police jurisdiction in all municipalities, townships, and villages. In an effort to become consistent on a statewide level, Ohio sheriffs and deputies wear a standardized uniform, and all patrol vehicles are marked in the same manner.

Within Ohio, sheriff's offices have probably one of the most extensive sets of responsibilities to those they serve. By statute they must provide the following: line law enforcement; court security and service of papers; jail operations; extradition process; and transportation of prisoners."

Congratulations on your new PROMOTION! Do the right thing, we're ALL WATCHING!!!


I missed in the duties and responsibilities' section where it states he can violate the constitution of America and what it stands for. And I'm not a Monday morning anything, I proudly served my country and was willing to die for the Constitution of the United States. The same United States and the same Constitution that I took an oath to defend against evil doers foreign and DOMESTIC. If you want to scrutinize or monitor that go ahead. Dane can't say the same, he hasn't even proudly served Huron County. He violated the Constitution of the United States of America and should be treated as such.

A Marine Mom

Thank you for your service, JakeMac25.
Semper Fi!