Rally event quiet for city, county police force

Published 9:21 am Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Whether it was an increase in patrols or a more subdued crowd, city and county law enforcement offices say this year’s Rally on the River was fairly quiet.

Ironton Police Chief Dan Johnson said his officers arrested a few adults and juveniles for disorderly conduct, but considered the event a success.

“Really it was a very quite weekend considering the amount of people that was in town,” Johnson said. “… I haven’t received any complaints or heard of any issues really. To me that makes it a good rally in my book.”

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Johnson said there were about five extra officers patrolling the rally grounds each night.

“Anytime you see a police officer standing there you’re going to be less likely to do something wrong,” Johnson said. “I’m sure it would cause you to stop and think about what was going on around you.”

Lawrence County Sheriff Jeff Lawless said his deputies also saw a quiet weekend, with the exception of a search for a missing woman early Saturday morning.

“Everything went very smooth, no major calls or incidents to speak of other than the missing girl that was kind of associated with the rally,” Lawless said. “It did take up a lot of our resources for a little while. Thank goodness that turned out all right. All in all it seemed to be a fairly uneventful weekend. It seemed to be a more subdued crowd than previous years. Everybody seemed to participate in activities without causing any trouble.”

At 12:30 a.m. Saturday an Ohio State Highway Patrol officer was approached by a couple in a car at the State Route 650 exit on U.S. 52, claiming their friend who had been in the vehicle was missing. All three had been at the Rally on the River.

Multiple law enforcement agencies and fire departments aided in the search, including a tracking dog and search rescue plane from Columbus.

The woman was discovered safe at about 10:30 a.m. Saturday in Portsmouth where she and the others had been staying.

Lt. Barry Call, commander of the Ohio State Highway Patrol Ironton Post, said excluding the search for the missing woman, his troopers had a good weekend.

Call said troopers removed nine impaired drivers from the road, at least one of which was a motorcycle driver.

“We had a lot of units out working the road starting Thursday evening all the way through Saturday night,” Call said. “…We are out looking for impaired drivers. I think in the past they’ve had a few more than that. Hopefully people are using designated drivers. It appears that way anyways.”

According to records at the sheriff’s office, approximatley 20 people were booked at the county jail from Thursday through Sunday. For a list of names and charges, see the records page on page 5.