Attorney General Liaison Discusses Yost Priorities With Commissioners

Topics included combating human trafficking, reducing robocalls and training law enforcement

Ohio Attorney General Danielle Mason’s Office Dave Yost gave Guernsey County Commissioners an update on the state agency’s priority projects on Monday.

Topics covered by Mason, a Zanesville GA liaison officer, included tackling human trafficking, reducing robocalls, and empowering law enforcement statewide.

“There’s been a lot of activity in all three of these areas, and that’s what I wanted to keep you posted,” Mason said.

Mason said that working in human trafficking – the use of force, fraud, or coercion to obtain some type of work or commercial sex act – is an interesting piece.

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“Right now you have to show that the victim, or the trafficked person, has been forced into prostitution,” Mason said. “In order to focus more on the seller and the buyer, and they don’t really see the victim as the seller anymore, (the changes) focus on different actors.”

Mason stated that the person trafficking the individuals, mostly young women but not always, does so by either involving them in drugs so that they become addicted and dependent on that person to do whatever he says or by withholding the drug.

“If you’ve got someone who’s already addicted and says I won’t give you what you take, then they’re more likely to go out and do whatever they want and bring the money back. So that expands. the definition of irresistible and irresistible prostitution.

Mason believes the changes show the trend of human trafficking and focus on the right people – the perpetrators.

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Regarding robocalls, Mason said an Ohio Senate bill was passed by the state House of Representatives two weeks ago regarding such calls.

“Right now, if you’re harassed over the phone, you’ll have to go through federal court and that would allow the same tools in state court,” Mason said. “They are really trying to attack identity theft, and I think we’ve all experienced identity theft.”

Identity theft is the disguise of a communication from an unknown source as from a known and trusted source.

Regarding law enforcement, the GA office sets up continuing professional training for officers.

Mason said she is working with state law enforcement regarding training, including the Guernsey County Sheriff’s Office and Cambridge Police Department, as well as smaller departments in the area.

“It’s like the continuing education you have for lawyers or doctors, and I think that’s been a big discussion during all of the riots,” Mason said. “Do we have qualified law enforcement personnel? “

Agents must complete 24 hours of continuing education and much of it is available online.

Mason said he has encountered varying responses from the law enforcement community.

“I think the idea is to introduce things like sensitivity training and diversity training into the curriculum, so hopefully if we have situations like last year they can tackle them better. “Mason said.

The AG’s office is looking for ways to reimburse officers for expenses incurred in completing the required training.

She also referred to pending changes to the Ohio Covert Carrying Act (Constitutional) and the OneOhio Agreement to address settlement negotiations and litigation with drugmakers and opioid distributors.

In other cases, the commissioners:

  • Meeting with Kenny Mathews and Chris Berguson from the County IT Department regarding cybersecurity. Commissioner Dave Wilson said the county has many safeguards in place, in part thanks to safeguards put in place by Secretary of State Frank LaRose in the recent election. “We’re just making sure we’re doing everything we can to maintain the security and integrity of our county data,” Wilson said.
  • Authorized the Bed Rental Agreement between the counties of Guernsey and Muskingum for juvenile delinquents from January 1 to December 31, 2022. The rate paid by the County of Guernsey quarterly will be $ 80 per day / per bed for two beds reserved for every day of the year at on East Pike Road in Zanesville.
  • Approved J&S Tree Core Services LLC of Byesville to remove trees from a property located at 60832 Vocational Road at a cost of $ 4,500 to be paid from the Special Projects Fund. The work, which has been completed, included felling trees, chopping brush and transporting timber.

Guernsey County Commissioners meet every Monday and Wednesday at the County Administration Building, 631 Wheeling Ave. in downtown Cambridge. Call the office, 740-432-9200, for more information or to be included on the meeting agenda.

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