Press Release

Contact: Chief Matt Birkbeck, (330) 684-5025

Date: Monday February 12, 2018

Incident: Juvenile in custody over OHS Threat

Location: Orrville High School 841 North Ella St. Orrville, OH

Date of Incident: January 31, 2018

Person(s) Involved: Juvenile, 15 years old

Agencies Involved: Orrville Police Department


The Orrville Police Department has identified a student who wrote a threat on a bathroom stall in the men’s restroom at Orrville High School on Thursday, January 31, 2018. The student indicated that it was not his intention to harm anyone and did not plan to carry out any acts of violence.

The student was taken into custody by Orrville police on Friday evening and transported to the Juvenile Attention Center.

A second incident, which took place last week, remains under investigation. Anyone with information is asked to call the police department at 330 684-5025 or you can provide tips anonymously using TIP411. Text us at 847411 and in the body of the message type “OPD” followed by your tip.

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Posted in Crime, Press Releases

Top 10 Stories of 2017: #1

Association Names Lesy Herbert Ohio’s Outstanding Officer


Officer Elisbeth “Lesy” Herbert

On November 30th, Officer Lesy Herbert was recognized by the Ohio Prosecuting Attorney’s Association as Ohio’s Outstanding Peace Officer for her role in the initial response and subsequent investigation of a 2016 murder.

Officer Herbert was nominated for the award by Wayne County Prosecutor Dan Lutz who wrote:

“I enthusiastically offer my highest recommendation on behalf of Orrville Police Officer Elisbeth “Lesy” Herbert whose name I submit for your consideration for the Outstanding Peace Officer Award. 


Dan Lutz (L) and Lesy Herbert at the OAPAA’s Annual Conference

“Having only been a commissioned peace officer for less than 2 years, and a fulltime officer with the Orrville Police Department for about ten months, the call “shots fired” went out over Officer Herbert’s police radio on August 18, 2016. Officer Herbert, who was the first to respond to the scene, arrived to see a man lying on the ground bleeding from the chest while another man, Paul Claren, was ten feet in front of the downed man standing in the doorway of his apartment pointing a firearm into the parking lot area where Officer Herbert had just arrived. Exiting her cruiser, and drawing her duty weapon, Officer Herbert screamed repeated commands for Claren to drop his gun and get on the ground. It took Claren almost a full minute to comply with those commands creating a very tense and dangerous situation as Claren reluctantly put down his firearm and very slowly walked out of his apartment refusing to put his hands in the air as ordered. After other officers finally secured Claren, Officer Herbert immediately initiated live saving measures on the victim, Bryan Galliher, who Claren had shot point blank in the chest with a .44 caliber revolver just minutes earlier, and she continued to do so until EMS personnel arrived. Then, throughout the evening and into the early morning hours of the next day, Officer Herbert greatly assisted in what became an aggravated murder investigation by conducting critical witness interviews and guarding Claren while he was being detained at the Orrville Police Department for questioning.”

“Officer Elisabeth Herbert showed great restraint, discipline, courage, and presence of mind not to use deadly force under very tense circumstances. Furthermore, she showed exemplary devotion to duty and professionalism in rendering first aid to a gunshot victim, followed by many hours of investigative responsibilities and subsequent trial testimony which ultimately culminated in the indictment, prosecution and conviction of Paul Claren for Aggravated Murder following a seven-day jury trial. Officer Herbert’s actions reflect great credit upon herself, the Orrville Police Department and law enforcement in general, for which I nominate her for the Outstanding Peace Officer award.”

Lesy is not only a very brave and skilled officer, as evidenced in her nomination, but she is also one of our most complimented officers. Citizens often call in or post to Facebook stories about how Lesy had treated them so well. We value this quality in our officers and it is why, in addition to Honor, Trust and Courage, we include Compassion as one of our core values. Lesy is a shining example of each of those values!



Posted in Special Report, Uncategorized

Top 10 Stories of 2017: #2

Nate Maimone Selected as OPD’s Officer of the Year

FINAL Nate 2016 Officer of Year

Officer Nate Maimone

Each January members of the police department vote to select the department’s Officer of the Year which is sponsored by the Orrville Exchange Club. In four of the past five years officer Nate Maimone has been named OPD’s top cop.

One of the reasons Orrville has enjoyed historically low crime levels over the past several years is the ability to solve crimes. Officer Maimone is one of the very best investigators in the area, which is a direct reflection on Orrville being considered one of the safest communities in Ohio, which saw us reach #27 in 2017.

Officer Maimone is relentless in his efforts at solving crimes. His attention to detail and tremendous work ethic has garnered him the respect of his peers year after year.

In addition to being one of the department’s primary criminal investigators, Maimone is also a Field Training Officer, which means when a new officer is hired, Maimone has the added responsibility of providing on the job training for the officer. He also serves as the Senior Operator and Safety Officer for the department’s Special Response Team.

Maimone was hired at Orrville in 2008. Prior to being hired by OPD, he was an officer at Dalton PD and West Salem PD. He was also a dispatcher for Medina police department.

As Maimone approaches his 10 year anniversary at OPD, he has already garnered numerous awards for his stellar service to the community. There is little doubt that he will continue to add to his already impressive resume and our community will continue to benefit from his outstanding efforts.

Posted in Special Report

Top 10 Stories of 2017: #3

Man convicted, sentenced to life without parole for 2016 shooting


On August 18, 2016 Orrville officers responded to a homicide at the Lamplight Court apartments and arrested Paul Claren. Nearly one year later, Claren was tried in a Wayne County court and found guilty by a jury after a 7 day trial.

Claren was later sentenced to life without parole. Officers Doug Miller and Lesy Herbert were honored with the Award of Valor for their initial response to the incident. Mayor Handwerk and Safety Service Director Steve Wheeler issued a Unit Commendation to the members of the police department for the effort on the investigation.


Fox 8 News

The Daily Record 8/11/2107

The Daily Record Opening Statements

The Daily Record Sentencing



Posted in Crime, Special Report

Top 10 Stories of 2017: #4

Feds, Medway wrap up 2 year drug investigation into drug cartel

Medway Seal

In November, the FBI and Medway conducted several search warrants throughout the area that resulted in the confiscation of meth, heroin, cocaine, marijuana, firearms and hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash.

It was the largest known drug bust in Wayne County’s history and involved federal agents as well as local police officers.

According to Medway’s Facebook page “this (was) the result of a 2 year investigation involving MEDWAY Agents working along side Canton FBI, DEA, ATF, Wayne County SheriffWooster Police DepartmentOrrville Police Department, and Rittman Police.”

Link: The Daily Record

Posted in Special Report

Top 10 Stories of 2017: #5

Suspect leads police on pursuit, exchanges gunfire


In the early morning hours of December 5th, police officers from the Wooster police department became involved in a motor vehicle pursuit with James “Bubba” Schmidt. The pursuit began at the Walmart in Wooster and continued through Orrville.

The suspect fired shots at law enforcement officers during the pursuit. He abandoned the vehicle after crashing just south of Orrville and stole a vehicle from a nearby residence. The vehicle was later found burned in southern Ohio.

Schmidt made it to West Virginia before the U.S. Marshall’s office captured him. He remains in custody facing several criminal charges.

Although the main topic of this story involved the response of the various law enforcement officers, it should be noted that dispatchers from Wayne County Sheriff’s Office, the Ohio State Patrol and the WARCOG regional dispatch center worked together throughout the incident to share information among the responding agencies.

In addition, several of the involved agencies, (Wooster PD, Wayne County Sheriff’s Office, Ohio State Highway Patrol, Smithville PD and Orrville PD) recently began using the MARCS radio system. This enabled all of the agencies to be able to clearly and easily communicate with each other in this very dangerous event. Prior to the migration to this statewide digital radio system, communication between agencies in incidents like this would have been very difficult. Furthermore, when law enforcement personnel were on foot using portable radios in the past, it would have been almost impossible to hear each other on the old system.


Fox News

Columbus Dispatch



Posted in Uncategorized

Top 10 Stories of 2017: #6

WARCOG Dispatcher Selected as Telecommunicator of the Year


In 2017, WARCOG dispatcher Sarah Miller was selected by the Ohio Gold Star Awards Program as the Telecommunicator of the Year. Below is the announcement from their Facebook page:

“On September 13, 2016, Dispatcher Sarah Miller received a 9-1-1 call from a female advising she had been abducted and needed help. The captor was in the room with her and asleep at the time. The caller whispered to the dispatcher that she did not know exactly where she was other than she was in a yellow house near the 4th Street laundry in Ashland.”
SarahMiller02“As units were being dispatched Dispatcher Miller asked about the circumstances of the abduction and a description of the suspect. The caller informed her they were in an abandoned house, she had been tied up but managed to free herself; he was armed with a taser. Dispatcher Miller worked to keep the victim calm and communicating, keeping in mind she could not speak louder than a whisper without waking up the suspect. There was no way for the caller to leave the room without waking the suspect. To make matters worse, arriving officers found two yellow abandoned houses next to each other in the location given by the caller.”

“As officers attempted to determine the correct location and prepare for entry, Dispatcher Miller did her best to keep the victim on the line and calm, advising her that help was outside. She told the caller to indicate when she saw officers outside the window so she could inform them they were surrounding the correct residence. Once the correct location was verified and the perimeter secured, officers made a swift entry into the house, rescuing the victim and apprehending the suspect who woke up as the officers made entry.”

“Without a doubt, the efforts of Dispatcher Miller and the Ashland Police Division’s officers saved this victim’s life. Unknown to the responders and victim, remains of two deceased women were discovered inside the vacant house. The suspect was charged with the murder of the two deceased women and is suspected in several other homicides of females in the region.”

“Dispatcher Miller’s confident and cool demeanor throughout the call was key to the successful rescue of the victim and apprehension of an accused serial killer. The caller’s fate would have been very different if she had not remained calm, if she could not be located quickly, and did not remain on the phone until officers made contact with her. Keeping the caller calm was key. Losing the element of surprise would have greatly increased the risk of further harm to the victim and potentially for the responding officers. With no successful conclusion to this call, the other victims, all of them missing persons, would have remained open cases and an undetected serial killer would remain free to commit further crimes.”

Posted in Special Report