MICHAEL MAROTTA, BEDFORD HEIGHTS CHIEF OF POLICE - (440) 786-3259
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***TTD (for hearing impaired)
Chief of Police Michael Marotta
Assistant Chief Dave Leonardi
Officer In Charge (Lt David Lee [Day])
Lieutenant Det. Ray Sorace
Detective Frankie Reed
Detective Ericka Payne
Clerk of Courts (Kathy Leggett)
Corrections (Lisa Mackerty - Secretary)
The City of Bedford Heights Division of Police provides 24-hour per day professional law enforcement and public safety for our City under the direction of Chief of Police Michael Marotta.
The Bedford Heights Division of Police is a progressive agency dedicated to providing high quality professional police service to the community. When fully staffed, the division employs 37 full-time police officers, 40 auxiliary police officers, a corrections staff of 49, and a civilian support staff of 24. Many exciting career opportunities exist for dedicated individuals.
We view the Bedford Heights Division of Police as being the leader in the community for the detection and prevention of crime. We envision every employee being in partnership with members of the community, community leaders, and surrounding communities to make Bedford Heights a safe place to live and work. To accomplish this, we have adopted modern policing strategies such as Community Policing, D.A.R.E., Teen Court, as well as community-based educational programs.
It is the mission of the Bedford Heights Division of Police, working in partnership with the community, to provide a high level of service through law enforcement, as well as the protection of life, property, and the constitutional rights of those we serve.
Important Numbers's To Remember
In the event of an emergency dial 9-1-1. Our Communications Center is staffed 24 hours a day. Calls of a non-emergency nature should be directed to 440-786-3222. Calls regarding community policing activities and programs should be referred to our community policing officer’s voice mail number, 440-786-3221. Questions regarding community activities, school closings, or other non-police related issues should be made to the appropriate department or city hall at 440-786-3200. Inquiries concerning traffic citations or other court related questions should be directed to the Bedford Heights Clerk of Courts at 440-786-3280 during normal business hours.
Generally speaking, the city does not have control over utility companies and other external vendors we call upon for service. In the event of a power outage that appears to be neighborhood-wide, we ask that you remain calm and only contact the police division in the event of a life-threatening emergency. We're aware of the problem prior to you even making the call.
False Alarm Ordinance
The City of Bedford Heights has enacted an ordinance that encourages responsible alarm use. Codified Ordinance 525.171 defines false alarms as “an emergency alarm activated by inadvertence, negligence, or unintentional acts to which the Division of Police or Fire responds.”
The following are NOT included:
· Malfunctions due to telephone lines
· Malfunctions due to interruption of electric service
· Acts of God (i.e. wind, rain, thunder, earthquake, etc.)
· An attempted illegal entry where there is visible evidence of attempt
· User acting under sincere belief that an emergency existed
Business users are afforded two (2) warnings per calendar year before a charge of fifty dollars ($50) is imposed for the third false alarm and any subsequent false alarms.
Official record of false alarm calls will be documented through the computerized automated dispatch system of the Division of Police. Multiple alarms received by the Police and Fire Dispatch Center before the system can be deactivated within a reasonable period of time shall be considered a single alarm. You are advised to cancel all alarms that don’t need emergency response as soon as possible.
Program coordinator, Ptl. Ryan Kaetzel, is available to answer any questions or provide technical assistance. He can be reached at 440-786-3222.
Businesses that transport bulk materials such as stones, gravel, or other similar material in closed or open trailers should familiarize themselves with Codified Ordinances 339.08 and 339.09 which address the manner in which these materials are to be secured while in transit. Any dropped loads, including the tracking of mud onto the public roadways, shall be the responsibility of the driver of the vehicle from which the load escaped.
In addition to any lawful requirements of load distribution, no vehicles should be operated upon a street or highway unless is so laden as to prevent its contents from shifting or otherwise unbalancing the vehicle to such an extent as to interfere with the safe operation of same.
Snow Plow Permits
All contractors providing snow removal services within the City of Bedford Heights are required to have a snow plow permit. Applicants must provide current Bond Insurance that has to be approved by the city’s law director before a snow plow permit is issued. All applicants must first submit a completed application along with current bond insurance to the records department for processing. Once the bond insurance has been approved by the law director, the applicant will be able to obtain a snow plow permit. This process may take up to 72 hours to complete.
Abandoned Junk Vehicles
Codified Ordinance # 303.09 restricts the placement, standing or parking of a junk vehicle upon any private property for a period in excess of seventy-two hours. In short, any junk vehicle left abandoned on any private property after seventy-two hours shall be subject to removal or impoundment by towing or other means (“junk vehicle” is defined as any motor vehicle meeting the requirements of Ohio R.C. 4513.63(B) to (E). A full text copy of this and any other ordinance is available through the Bedford Heights Clerk of Council Office by calling 440-786-3220.
Codified Ordinance 503.03 specifies the manner and duration by which a “temporary sign” may be displayed. “Temporary sign” is defined as “any sign made of lightweight wood and cardboard, wire frame and plastic or other similar materials having a tendency to deteriorate in a short period of time generally pertaining to special occurrences or one-time events…” The full text version of this ordinance is available through the Clerk of Council Office located at City Hall.
Noise Pollution Control
The City of Bedford Heights has enacted Chapter 511 of the Codified Ordinances which is designed to protect, preserve, and promote the health, safety, welfare, peace and quiet of the citizens of Bedford Heights through the reduction, control and prevention of loud and raucous noise, or any noise which unreasonably disturbs, injures or endangers the comfort, repose, health, peace or safety of reasonable persons of ordinary sensitivity. Codified Ordinance 511.06 defines prohibited noises and exemptions as well as enforcement remedies available to the City.
Copies of police reports are available upon request at the Police Department's Records Division Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. At time of this posting, there is no fee for copies of reports 4 pages or less. Any reports over 4 pages will be assessed a fee according to the fee schedule established by local ordinances. Be advised, active case reports may not be available if the incident is still under investigation or is still pending in the courts. We will endeavor to have copies of reports available within a reasonable period of time.
For general animal complaints, call the police department's non-emergency line, 440-786-3222.
How Can I Help the Police Department?
Notify the police department immediately anytime you see any suspicious activity. Try to obtain an accurate description of the subjects along with any vehicles involved. We would rather respond to a call and find it to be unfounded than to learn later that a crime had occurred.
Also, be certain that the address of your business is clearly marked and visible from the street. This aids our officers and greatly reduces response times in an emergency.
The 35 members of the Police Department serve both the residents and businesses of the City. The Police Department has at least four officers scheduled on duty per shift. The Police Department has several programs to assist businesses in the community. Officers who work in the Detective Bureau may assist businesses with any crimes to property or persons, including check forgery. As an additional service, businesses may connect an alarm system directly to the Police Department dispatch. The City also participates in the C.O.P.S. Grant Program that brings police officers into the community on a daily basis. The Department is a member of S.E.A.L.E. (Southeast Area Law Enforcement) Bomb Squad and SWAT Team. These employees are fully trained with state-of-the-art equipment available 24 hours per day. The dispatch center is equipped with an enhanced "911" C.A.D. (Computer Aided Dispatch) system, which will allow for a faster response time than the prior average of three minutes per call.
All department cruisers are equipped with laptops to expedite information for full efficiency within the community.
The City's Auxiliary Police program has received national recognition as one of America's Best Practices by the U.S. Conference of Mayors in 2004. The City established the Auxiliary Program in 1999 under former Mayor Debora Mallin and Council. Originally, Council approved a 10 person force but soon recognized the program's ability to compliment the Police force and enable them to work "smarter instead of harder" and extended the number of positions to 40.
Auxiliaries supplement our regular police force and assist in routine non-emergency police work. Applicants for Auxiliary positions must be 21 years of age and complete the in-house training of about 20 hours of classroom work and 24 hours with a field training officer. The City provides the uniform and equipment as well as basic training for successful applicants. For more information contact Sergeant Dave Lee, Program Liaison. The City of Bedford Heights is an equal opportunity employer; women and minorities are encouraged to apply.
DO NOT attempt to personally apprehend anyone you suspect to be engaging in criminal activity. Always call the police and let them handle the situation.
Children should always be with (or within the supervision of) a responsible adult. In the event you need to leave your child with a baby sitter or child care provider, be very sure you are fully aware of the caregiver's background and credentials. Child abuse/neglect should be referred to 216-696-KIDS (216-696-5437). Responsible parents should be sure to inform baby sitters of:
1. Child’s habits or problems - such as allergies, temper tantrums, fears, etc.
2. Play areas - what is off limits and what is allowed
3. House rules - visitors, TV, stereo, telephone and bedtime
4. Meals and snacks - what can be eaten and when
5. Names and nicknames - for the child's comfort
6. Activities or games
7. Written medication instructions - amounts, times, limits
8. Emergency phone numbers - where to reach parent, ambulance, fire department, doctor, poison control center, hospital, police department, preferred neighbor
Program - Car Seat Safety
It is frightening to note the statistics that four out of every five children are buckled in safety car seats improperly. With the many various types of vehicles and brands of car seats, it should not be surprising that generic direction sheets my not give the best advice. Therefore, our officers from both the City Police and Fire Departments have taken special training to be able to keep your most precious cargo safe; your child. Contact the police department to see when the next checkpoint will be hosted or how you might schedule some personal instruction on this issue.
Program - S.E.A.R.C.H. Initiative
(Received 2001 U.S. Conference of Mayors "Best Practice Award)
The City of Bedford Heights S.E.A.R.C.H. Initiative sets a proactive force on abduction education, serving both adult and juvenile populations in age appropriate initiative and curriculum delivery. Securing Elderly Adults and Returning Children Home is actualized through an elementary youth and a senior strand, each addressing needs of the respective populations:
Elementary youth strand includes:
1. Locator program of Intellicast Target Notification that delivers telephone message (like reverse 911) and can also deliver AMBER Alerts
2. Stranger Danger - is a special curriculum taught in our school classrooms in conjunction with D.A.R.E.
3. Junior Police Academy teaches awareness, personal confidence and self instruction
4. School Resource Office (SRO) in school setting serves as a mentor and advisor
5. Safe School is a community district hotline enabling calls of anonymous leads of a reporting and preventative nature.
6. Safety Days provide several demonstrative experiences by the Police Department such as a 911 simulator. (Contact the Police Department for more information)
7. Kid Care I.D. Kits provide personal documentation of photos and fingerprints in flyer format free to residents.
Codified Ordinance Chapter 535 addresses that compulsory school age children are mandated to attend at school. Should children ages 6 -17 inclusive not be in school or parental supervision while school is in session, they are subject to the jurisdiction of the Juvenile Court as an unruly child. Each parent or legal guardian of a child between the ages of six and seventeen hosts a duty to prohibit their child from behaving contrary to this mandate. School age children must have written proof from school authorities to be exempt from this legislation. Per Ordinance 99-041, parents of children in violation are subject to a minor misdemeanor for a first offense, a misdemeanor of the fourth degree for the second offense and as a misdemeanor of the first degree for additional offenses.
Evening Curfew - Minor's Curfew
1. No minor under the age of sixteen years shall loiter, idle, wander, stroll or play in or upon any public street, highway, road, alley, park, playground or other public place, public building, place of amusement, recreation or entertainment, vacant lot or other unsupervised place between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. of the following day.
2. No minor under the age of eighteen years shall loiter, idle, wander, stroll or play in or upon any public street, highway, road, alley, park, playground or other public ground, public place, public building, place of amusement, recreation or entertainment, vacant lot or other unsupervised place between the hours of 12:00 midnight and 6:00 a.m. of the following day on Friday or Saturday or between the hours of 11:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. of the following day on Sunday through and including Thursday.
3. The provisions of subsections (a) and (b) hereof do not apply to a minor accompanied by his parent, guardian or other adult person having the care and custody of the minor, or to a minor upon an emergency errand or legitimate business as directed by his parent, guardian or other adult person having the care and custody of the minor.
4. No parent, guardian or other adult person having the care and custody of a minor under the age of eighteen years shall knowingly permit such minor to violate any of the provisions of this section.
5. Minors violating any of the provisions of this section shall be dealt with in accordance with Juvenile Court law and procedure.
Whoever violates any of the provisions of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor of the forth degree. Each violation shall be deemed a separate offense. (Ord. 11-70. Passed 5-3-77)
The City of Bedford Heights joined the statewide Amber Alert Initiative to expedite communication and cooperation within agencies and the media to quickly disseminate information to assist an abducted child.
The AMBER Alert can only be activated by the local law enforcement agency. The Northern Ohio AMBER Alert covers all communities reached by all broadcast stations that are locally participating in the plan. Before activation, the following criteria must be met:
1. Child is under 18 years of age.
2. Credible information that the child was forcibly or intentionally removed or lured away from their location and remains missing.
3. The law enforcement agency believes the child is in danger of serious bodily harm or death.
4. There is enough descriptive information about the child and/or alleged abductor(s) and/or alleged abductor(s)' vehicle to believe an immediate broadcast alert will help.
The program does not cover missing children believed to have run away from home, taken by a non-custodial relative in a custody case or missing more than 24 hours.
Kid Care I.D.
This program provides the family with a packet of useful information of what they would need to know should their child ever be abducted or otherwise missing. Police Department representatives will help fingerprint children for parental safekeeping. There is no cost for this service. In that fingerprints are individual and yet specific to a person, early printing provides a long lasting record of identity. Contact the Police Department for how you can acquire personal records for your child.
The wearing of bike helmets is recommended for rider safety. As part of a coalition with Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital, the Police Department sells Bell Bicycle Helmets in sizes toddler to adult at manufacturers cost. Contact Community Officer Dennis Jezior for more information.
School Resource Officer
The School Resource Officer Program places a full time fully uniformed Police Officer at Heskett Middle School through the assistance of a 3-year COPS Grant. The intent of the program is to provide the students an opportunity to form a positive rapport with a Police Officer in their regular peer environment where he/she can act as a mentor/assistant/role model to the students, not as a disciplinarian or in the more traditional police role. Special training is provided to the officer.
The City's program, initiated within the outreach of Patrolman Frankie Reed in 2002, has received national Best Practices publication in the area of Reinforcing Community Trust. Statistically, the program has proven positive in greater academic achievement, personal behavior choices and school climate as well as mentoring.
Drug and alcohol resistance education is taught at the fourth grade level at all community schools. A Junior High program and refresher special issue (such as seat belt safety) has also been offered at varying grade levels by officers who have completed the required special training.
Vacation House Watch
If residents would like to have the Police Department check on their house while they are away on vacation, they should call the non-emergency police number (440.786.3222) prior to their departure and ask the dispatcher to complete a house watch form. Officers will keep an eye on the home on a random but regular basis until they receive a call confirming your return.
Parking on the streets is prohibited. Exceptions may be made for emergencies, driveway construction or similar situations only after the resident calls dispatch at 440-786-3222 and gets temporary approval. All vehicles given permission to park in the street must not block driveways and sidewalks and must not limit access to fire hydrants and/or driveways.
Motor vehicles must be parked on a designated driveway and are prohibited from being parked on the lawn and unpaved areas. Unlicensed, expired and inoperable "junk" motor vehicles may not be parked on residents' property unless they are enclosed in a garage.
The City’s gun safety program is designed to promote the co-existence of gun ownership and public safety. Project L.O.C.K. hosts four components; one for each letter of its name. The first is Legislation that states that if you own a gun you must have a lock on it to assure that it will not misfire, under penalty of the law. Opportunity to acquire a free gun lock to make compliance easy for everyone is also part of the City's service. Community classrooms are available at the Police Department for adults who own weapons to learn how to handle weapons safely. Further, Kid's education, modeled after behavior modification curriculums such as D.A.R.E., teaches kids to respond and react if they discover a gun while playing or at home and how to remove themselves from such a scenario.
Contact the Police Department if this initiative will be of service to you.
Junior Police Academy
In 2003, the City of Bedford Heights implemented a Junior Police Academy Program for Junior High age youth of the City. The 10 week classroom program was modeled off of the very successful Senior Citizens Police Academy Program addressing themes of citizenship, first aid, community awareness and self defense as well as age specific challenges, such as dealing with peer pressure and preventing substance abuse. This program was nationally awarded Best Practice 2004 by the U.S. Conference of Mayors.
The program provides an advantage of allowing opportunity for youth to form rapport with police officers in a positive vein outside of disciplinary or court scenarios. One of the most popular classes is when the department presenter provides various goggles and headsets particularly designed to portray how the senses are made dysfunctional via various levels of substance abuse. This allows the youth to see in sound mind the potential dangers of such exposures. Interested persons can contact Detective Harry Edwards at 440.786.3265.
Senior Citizens Academy
The Bedford Heights Senior Citizens Police Academy was twice nationally awarded a Best Practice Program by the U.S. Conference of Mayors, in 2001 for Hard to Serve Populations and 2004 in Reinforcing Community Trust. This 10-week classroom initiative provides an opportunity for senior citizen class participants to enhance their personal awareness and security, specifically as challenges the aging citizens. Beyond themes of citizenship, first aid and self defense, participants gain savvy to protect themselves and others against scams and issues such as identity theft.
Program completion is marked with a graduation program as well as elective special opportunities such as selecting a program officer to host a "ride along". This program has been credited for improved community relations, both officer to senior as well as senior to fellow senior. Graduates have often utilized energy resultant from this experience to get more active in volunteer service. Interested persons can contact Ptl. Dennis Jezior, 440.786.3222.