9.92 Citizens' reward program.

(A) As used in this section:

(1) "Citizens' reward program" means any organization that satisfies all of the following criteria:

(a) It is a nonprofit organization;

(b) It is organized and operated exclusively to offer and pay rewards to citizens for volunteering tips and information to law enforcement agencies concerning felonies, offenses of violence, or misdemeanors that have been committed;

(c) It has established a reward fund to be used solely for the payment of rewards to citizens for volunteering tips and information to law enforcement agencies concerning felonies, offenses of violence, or misdemeanors that have been committed.

(2) "Detention facility" has the same meaning as in section 2921.01 of the Revised Code.

(B) A citizens' reward program may apply to the board of county commissioners of any county or counties in which it operates for recognition as the official reward program for that county or counties. Upon receipt of the application, the board of county commissioners shall determine if it is in proper order and the information it contains is correct. If the application meets these criteria, the board, by resolution, may officially recognize the program. Recognition of a program by a county under this division qualifies the program for funding of its reward fund under division (F) of section 2981.12 of the Revised Code. No more than one such reward program shall be recognized in any county.

(C)

(1) If a board of county commissioners enters into an agreement of affiliation with a citizens' reward program pursuant to division (D) of this section, any municipal court, county court, or court of common pleas within the county shall impose the sum of one dollar as costs in any case in which a person is convicted of or pleads guilty to any offense other than a traffic offense. This one dollar additional court costs is in addition to any other court costs that the court is required by law to impose upon the offender, and, the court shall impose the one dollar additional court costs as long as the agreement of affiliation remains in effect, but the court, in the court's discretion, may remit this one dollar additional court costs to the offender. The clerk of each court shall transmit all such moneys collected during a month on or before the twentieth day of the following month to the affiliated citizens' reward program.

(2) No person shall be placed or held in a detention facility for failing to pay the additional one dollar court costs that are required to be paid by division (C)(1) of this section.

(3) A citizens' reward program receiving funds pursuant to division (C)(1) of this section may use the funds for any purpose described in division (A)(1)(b) or (c) of this section.

(D)

(1) Any citizens' reward program that is recognized under division (B) of this section may enter into a written agreement of affiliation with a board of county commissioners in the county in which the program operates. Agreements of affiliation executed pursuant to this division shall be valid for two years and may be renewed. The agreements shall do all of the following:

(a) Specify the relationship between the citizens' reward program, the county, and law enforcement agencies in the county;

(b) Specify that the citizens' reward program shall account annually to the board of county commissioners for all funds raised by the organization from all sources and all funds expended by the organization for any purpose;

(c) Allow the citizens' reward program to itemize the sources of funds raised without referring to the name of the source;

(d) Prohibit the citizens' reward program from divulging the identity of any person to whom a reward was paid.

(2) In every county in which the board of county commissioners approves of an agreement of affiliation, the board shall notify the clerk of each municipal court, county court, and court of common pleas within the county of that agreement of affiliation and of the duty to collect the additional court costs imposed pursuant to division (C) of this section.

(E) The recognition of a citizens' reward program under this section does not make it a governmental unit for purposes of section 149.43 of the Revised Code and does not subject it to the disclosure provisions of that section. A board of county commissioners that recognizes a citizens' reward program pursuant to this section shall require the program to provide the board with an accounting of all funds the program receives or disburses subsequent to its recognition in order to maintain recognition.

(F) A board of county commissioners that recognizes a citizens' reward program under this section may by resolution revoke its recognition of the program. The board shall send a copy of the resolution, upon adoption, to the program and to each appropriate law enforcement agency that has jurisdiction over the territory served by the program.

(G) An application for recognition of a citizens' reward program shall contain all of the following information:

(1) The name of the program and its mailing address;

(2) The name and address of each of its officers or officials;

(3) Information sufficient to establish the intention and ability of the program's officers to implement the program throughout the county;

(4) The purposes for which the program is organized and operated and the services it offers;

(5) A copy of the articles of incorporation and bylaws of the program, if applicable, or a copy of the rules and procedures under which the program is organized and operated;

(6) Any other relevant information that the board of county commissioners requires, by resolution.

Effective Date: 04-06-2004; 07-01-2007