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Writer: Police chief wasn’t heroic when it comes to the cats


In response to Buckeye Lake Police Officer Jim Bartoe’s comments in a letter in the December 24th Beacon which states, “I want people to know the truth about Police Chief Jimmy Hanzey’s heroic actions Nov. 9. He saved a woman’s life and her pets’ lives that morning. Bonnie Mansfield’s Letter to the Editor last week makes it sound like all Chief Hanzey did was put the woman’s cats in danger. That is false!”

First of all, the woman wasn’t told by me or the humane society what really happened with her animals. She was sick and didn’t need to hear anything negative. She wrote a letter to the village thanking Chief Hanzey because she thought he actually helped all of her animals. There’s nothing wrong with that and, in fact, was very nice of her, and I too, appreciate that he may have saved her life. But, apparently, Hanzey wasn’t even professional enough to write a report on this incident. I made attempts to get records but wasn’t even given a return call. Had I seen that Hanzey saved the woman, I would have thanked him myself.

However, Hanzey wasn’t heroic when it comes to the cats. A Good Samaritan was the hero for the cats. The Good Sam, who knew Hanzey had left those cats in the car for SEVERAL hours, called me. I removed the cats from the car and took them to the humane society.

My reason for bringing this incident to light is that Chief Hanzey could have caused those cats to die by leaving them in that car. At the very least, he could have left them food (which was clearly visible in a closed, clear tote in the car). But he did not. Both cats were in soft carriers (although I believe the one could have backed out since the zipper seemed to be broken). So, I contend that this woman is “home with her pets” in spite of Chief Hanzey’s actions.

I don’t believe any other BLPD officer (except for one) would have handled this situation the same way. I believe that the majority of the other officers would have called the humane agent and all animals would have been moved to safety at the same time. I’m just asking for compassion and professionalism from the Chief of Police! I’m not surprised at Hanzey’s actions (since he made a fool of himself a few months ago at the humane society by threatening to dump a cat in a field if they didn’t take it). Our village deserves a more professional attitude from the “Chief” of police.

I’m also not surprised at Officer Jim Bartoe’s attitude. If you recall, Jim Bartoe is the police officer who was caught red handed dumping cats on a back road… which is ILLEGAL (abandoning an animal is a second degree misdemeanor crime in the state of Ohio and carries a penalty of up to 90 days in jail and a maximum fine of $750). The Buckeye Lake Police Department (BLPD) was allowed to handle this internally. And, of course, Officer Bartoe received no punishment WHATSOEVER. I would be concerned that he is still practicing the cruelty (trapping and dumping cats regardless of who owns the cat).

My way of giving to this community is by helping to provide emergency rescue for animals. I have seen many dumped animals and I assure you it is cruel! Many people have no idea what these cats and dogs go through when they’re dumped. Some of them don’t survive. Most of them are traumatized and have no clue how to survive; many of them are injured and/or starved.

I report these incidents in the Beacon because I believe the public needs to know what is going on in our communities. We don’t have to keep tolerating unprofessional behavior from certain public officials. If the public is unaware then the same public officials will continue to get away with the same unprofessional, intolerable actions…especially towards cats.

Bonnie Mansfield
Buckeye Lake

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