Ottawa County Sheriff's Dept. investigating Put-in-Bay Police Dept.

PUT-IN-BAY (Toledo News Now) - The Ottawa County Sheriff's Department has launched an investigation into complaints it's received about the Put-In-Bay Police Department.

The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation is also getting involved.

Sheriff Steve Lavorchick is careful not to release too many details about the probe, but he says they involve allegations of misconduct and improper behavior.

So far, he's heard from ten people.

"This is something that is not a pleasant task, however, the Sheriff has been sworn to protect all citizens in Ottawa County," said Sheriff Lavorchick.

It's no secret village residents and business owners are frustrated with the police department.

At a meeting in July complaints were made by Put-In-Bay residents that the department, staffed mostly with seasonal officers during the hectic tourist season, is young, inexperienced and at times overzealous in making arrests.

Some residents suggested the sheriff's department help out.

"When these residents and business owners come to me and say they need help, we need someone to investigate this, then we have to pick up that ball and carry it," said Sheriff Levorchick.

A sheriff's detective and officer from B-C-I are conducting interviews on the island.

Sheriff Levorchick says he's asking that a special prosecutor be appointed to examine evidence they gather, possibly one from Lucas County.

He adds Ottawa County Prosecutor Mark Mulligan agrees with the request because his name has surfaced during the early stages of the investigation.

"Our job is not to restructure the police department or run the police department. They have their own police department. Our job is to investigate the complaints against the police officers and police department," said Sheriff Levorchick.

It's unknown how long it will be before the investigation is complete.