Oxford PD will lead county drunk driving task force

By Stone Shields

The Oxford Police Department will continue leading a 13-agency Butler County task force that operates at occasional highway checkpoints to catch drunk drivers.

City Council formally resolved to accept a $225,000 federal grant to coordinate the task force this week. The council approved to continue contracting with former officer Peter M. Reising to be task force coordinator next year. He will be paid up to $30,000 at the rate of $60 an hour.

Oxford Police Chief John Jones said the money will be divided among the 13 agencies “to run saturation patrols and OVI  (Operating a Vehicle under the Influence) checkpoints to supplement our highway safety.” 

No major changes are planned to the task force’s program of drunk driving checkpoints. Jones said they always are advertised on the Oxford Police Facebook page. Often, they are by McDonald’s on Locust Street or on College Corner Pike. 

Jones said the goal is simply to cut down on drunk driving.

Reising retired from the police force in 2015 after being injured in a lawn mower accident. Jones said being task force coordinator is “very specialized with a lot of administrative work.”

Oxford Mayor William Snavely said that continuing the drunken driving task force was not even controversial. 

“It’s something that we’ve done for many years,” Snavely said, “and the county’s sheriff’s office is happy to have us coordinate it because they have enough going on.”

Snavely said the City of Oxford is also investing in a water softening process so that all of Oxford’s water will be softened at the plant. Hardened water has a lot of minerals in it and sometimes doesn’t allow things to be cleaned as well.

“If you don’t have softened water your pipes can begin to corrode and get all kinds of accumulations on them and it’s just horrible for the pipes,” said Snavely. “Your soap doesn’t foam up as well and overall it just doesn’t taste as good.”