Ohio AG: Bureau of Criminal Investigations ‘turning to shreds’

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost is asking for more funding to hire officers to keep up with the growing number of violent crime investigations.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigations is overwhelmed with cases, and Attorney General Dave Yost said a spike in violent crimes and the number of requests for assistance has risen significantly from years previous ones.

“Our people are kind of in tatters, frankly,” Yost said. “Let’s skip the COVID year, we’re way above ’20. Looking at the last non-COVID year, 2019, our demand for support in the first four months of the year is up over 50%. The number of homicide investigations quadrupled, quadrupled.”

Yost says sexual assault cases have increased by 33% and the number of shooting incidents involving officers has remained stable, but there has been higher demand for an independent investigation with BCI.

The Bureau of Criminal Investigation complements and supports local police forces and sheriffs, and should be asked to help, Yost says.

“I went to the Legislative Assembly and spoke about the challenges we face and asked for additional resources. We are currently in a budget cycle and I really hope that we will have additional resources, because the message we hear from local law enforcement is: “We need help”.

Yost explained that more funds allocated by the legislature will be used to hire more expert agents.

Mark M. Gagnon