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Government & Politics
2018 was a big election year in Ohio. Republicans held onto all five statewide executive offices including governor and super majorities in both the Ohio House and Senate. But there were a few bright spots for Democrats, among them the reelection of U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown and the election of two Democrats to the Ohio Supreme Court.With election 2018 over, the focus now shifts to governing. Stay connected with the latest on politics, policies and people making the decisions at all levels affecting your lives.

Police Group That's Backing Cordray Criticizes DeWine's Handling of Drug Kits

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SHUTTERSTOCK
Drugs found at crime scenes are sent to the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation and must be returned to be used as evidence in court cases. The FOP claims delays in getting the kits back have led to charges being reduced or dismissed.

The Ohio Fraternal Order of Police is slamming Attorney General Mike DeWine, saying he has not done enough to speed up drug kit testing within his agency. However, DeWine’s office disputes the allegations of sluggish turnaround times.

Drugs found at crime scenes are sent to the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation, or BCI, and must be returned to be used as evidence in court cases.

Jay McDonald of the Ohio FOP said, at one point last year, it took BCI up to 136 days to get these kits back.

“The main consequence is that we end up reducing drug charges or eliminating them altogether, really putting law enforcement and local communities into a bind," McDonald said. 

The FOP has endorsed Democrat Richard Cordray, who’s running for governor against DeWine, the Republican nominee.

Dan Tierney with the AG’s Office counters that these numbers are “extremely outdated and misleading.” He says the opioid epidemic led to longer turnaround times, but DeWine mitigated that by hiring more investigators.

Data from the AG’s office shows the current turnaround time for drug kits is an average of 18 days.