BUTLER COUNTY, Ohio (FOX19) - Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones is never one to mince words. This time he’s taking aim at those who “abuse police.”
“I won’t tolerate it period. You shoot at the police, expect us to shoot back,” Jones said in a press release Wednesday.
Jones says he’s seen “lawlessness” directed at police in cities across the country including shots being fired at officers.
He recounts incidents involving police including water dumped on officers in New York, frozen water bottles being thrown, as well as officers blinded by lasers in Portland, Oregon.
The most recent incident involving shots fired at police officers locally occurred Monday in suburban Warren County, when a chase resulted in a shootout during which a Middletown police officer sustained gunshot wounds.
Jones does not mention the Warren County incident in Wednesday’s release.
During a press conference about that shootout, Jones talked about defunding the police and the safety of officers.
“I will not allow my deputies or any law enforcement officer in Butler County to take the abuse I have seen over the past several months,” Jones said.
“If you come to this county expecting a free pass to harm one of my men or women in uniform keep in mind, nothing in life is free.”
Jones also made headlines for his words back in July when he said, “I am not going to be the mask police.”
He was responding to a statewide mask mandate issued by Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine a few days earlier.
The sheriff said he would not enforce that mandate nor would he have his deputies stop people and tell them to put on a mask.
“Let the health department make all these rules and let them enforce these. They can get a little yellow light on their car and ride around in it and give people tickets. If that’s what they wanna do, fine. They’ll need the police in the end because people’s (sic) getting angry,” Jones said.