There is hereby created in the department of public safety a division of state highway patrol which shall be administered by a superintendent of the state highway patrol.
The superintendent shall be appointed by the director of public safety, and shall serve at the director's pleasure. The superintendent shall hold the rank of colonel and be appointed from within the eligible ranks of the patrol. The superintendent shall give bond for the faithful performance of the superintendent's official duties in such amount and with such security as the director approves.
The superintendent, with the approval of the director, may appoint any number of state highway patrol troopers and radio operators as are necessary to carry out sections 5503.01 to 5503.06 of the Revised Code, but the number of troopers shall not be less than eight hundred eighty. The number of radio operators shall not exceed eighty in number. Except as provided in this section, at the time of appointment, troopers shall be not less than twenty-one years of age, nor have reached thirty-five years of age. A person who is attending a training school for prospective state highway patrol troopers established under section 5503.05 of the Revised Code and attains the age of thirty-five years during the person's period of attendance at that training school shall not be disqualified as over age and shall be permitted to continue to attend the training school as long as the person otherwise is eligible to do so. Such a person also remains eligible to be appointed a trooper. Any other person who attains or will attain the age of thirty-five years prior to the time of appointment shall be disqualified as over age.
At the time of appointment, troopers shall have been legal residents of Ohio for at least one year, except that this residence requirement may be waived by the superintendent.
If any state highway patrol troopers become disabled through accident or illness, the superintendent, with the approval of the director, shall fill any vacancies through the appointment of other troopers from a qualified list to serve during the period of the disability.
The superintendent and state highway patrol troopers shall be vested with the authority of peace officers for the purpose of enforcing the laws of the state that it is the duty of the patrol to enforce and may arrest, without warrant, any person who, in the presence of the superintendent or any trooper, is engaged in the violation of any such laws. The state highway patrol troopers shall never be used as peace officers in connection with any strike or labor dispute.
Each state highway patrol trooper and radio operator, upon appointment and before entering upon official duties, shall take an oath of office for faithful performance of the trooper's or radio operator's official duties and execute a bond in the sum of twenty-five hundred dollars, payable to the state and for the use and benefit of any aggrieved party who may have a cause of action against any trooper or radio operator for misconduct while in the performance of official duties. In no event shall the bond include any claim arising out of negligent operation of a motorcycle or motor vehicle used by a trooper or radio operator in the performance of official duties.
The superintendent shall prescribe a distinguishing uniform and badge which shall be worn by each state highway patrol trooper and radio operator while on duty, unless otherwise designated by the superintendent. No person shall wear the distinguishing uniform of the state highway patrol or the badge or any distinctive part of that uniform, except on order of the superintendent.
The superintendent, with the approval of the director, may appoint necessary clerks, stenographers, and employees.
Amended by 130th General Assembly File No. 7, HB 51, §101.01, eff. 7/1/2013.
Effective Date: 04-22-1997 .