Wednesday, October 31, 2001

Lawyers, officers hear call

Several reservists placed on active duty

By Jim Hannah
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Those who administer the justice of the state are often the same people who volunteer to defend it.

        All across the Tristate, prosecutors, sheriff's deputies and police officers are answering the call to active military duty.

        The Hamilton County prosecutor's office has had only one lawyer called to active duty ince Sept. 11, but he is an important one — Karl Kadon, chief assistant to Prosecutor Mike Allen.

        Earlier this Mr. Kadon, a major in the Army Reserve, was ordered to report to MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Fla., the military's command headquarters for the Afghanistan campaign.

        The Hamilton County Sheriff's Department has had six deputies — four corrections officers and two patrol officers — called to National Guard and reserve duty, according to spokesman Steve Barnett.

        In early October, five Cincinnati police officers — of a total force of 1,020 — were called to active Coast Guard and Air Force Reserve duty.

        The Cincinnati police-recruit class that began training in late September lost four cadets to National Guard and reserve duty in the first week of classes.

        Prosecutors in Warren, Butler and Clermont counties said they have not had anyone on their staffs called to active duty. Clermont and Warren counties sheriff's departments have also had no one activated.

        But the Butler County Sheriff's Department has lost one deputy. John Smith's National Guard unit was activated shortly after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

        In Kentucky, the Kenton County Commonwealth Attorney's office will lose nearly a quarter of its staff when an assistant prosecutor leaves for active duty next week.

        Ruey Newsom, a captain in the Army Reserve, has been ordered to report to Columbus on Monday.

        That leaves his boss, Commonwealth Attorney Bill Crockett, struggling to reassign 150-200 cases. Mr. Newsom was one of four full-time and three part-time prosecutors working for Mr. Crockett.

        “This has caused a real domino effect in our office,” Mr. Crockett said. “Not only am I losing a prosecutor, I have to worry about officers needing to testify in cases being called for active duty.”

        Mr. Newsom said his pending departure would probably cause his office to file for continuances in some cases. So far, Mr. Crockett said, no case has been delayed because an officer has not been available to testify.

        But that could change as officers from around the Tristate get called for active duty.

        Campbell County Police Chief David Sandfoss said his department's staffing problems have been exacerbated y the departure of Deputy Greg Steeken. Mr. Steeken has been ordered to report to active duty Thursday at Quantico, Va. The 25-year-old U.S. Marine Corps Reservist has been with the department just over a year.

        A second officer is out on military medical leave due to an injury received during military duty, said Chief Sandfoss, and a third officer is looking at having to participate in extended training exercises as a National Guard member.

        The department has 28 sworn officers.

        Mr. Crockett said he has been authorized to fill the position left open by Mr. Newsom's departure. But he said it is hard to find someone to fill a temporary position. He said he doesn't even know how long he will need that person. Under most circumstances, federal law requires employers to reinstate any reservists after they complete their tour of duty.

        Mr. Newsom said his orders are for one year, but he said that could change. He wouldn't say what his mission will be.

        Enquirer reporter Howard Wilkinson contributed to this report.



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