DeWine speaks on Belinky, promises backup for local police

BOARDMAN, Ohio (WKBN) – Ohio’s top law enforcement officer said he and his staff are willing to help local police any way they can.

Republican Attorney General Mike DeWine was in the area Wednesday to attend the regular meeting of the Mahoning Valley Police Chiefs Association. He said one of the focuses of his office is to investigate people committing crimes against young children, especially cases involving sharing pornography online.

DeWine actually created a special unit to handle those cases and provide help to local law enforcement.

“We work with the local police, make the arrest, and in a large number of these cases, when we get there and make the arrest, we can get a confession and they will admit not only to file sharing, which is bad enough, but they also will admit to molesting children,” DeWine said.

DeWine said his staff also has set up a unit to focus on the heroin epidemic in the state, which he said is present in every community in all 88 counties. He said it’s the first time the Attorney General’s office has targeted a specific drug in its efforts.

Heroin abuse declared epidemic in Ohio.

He said he created the unit both to target traffickers and also to educate local communities about the problem.

“Last year, we lost well over 900 people statewide because of an overdose of heroin. It is plentiful, it is cheap and it’s in every single community and in every single county,” DeWine said. “The truth is we can’t arrest our way out of this problem. We have to have a grassroots effort in a community to turn it around.”

Local police chiefs said the Attorney General and his staff provide a valuable resource for manpower, information and advice to handle local cases.

DeWine also mentioned that he is aware of the situation surrounding Mahoning County Probate Court Judge Mark Belinky’s resignation, but cannot talk about the case.

He said he hopes to have a resolution on the case, which he can talk about “within the next few days.”

“Public corruption is something we all have to take responsibility for, and it’s something in the attorney general’s office we take very, very seriously,” DeWine said.

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