Lt. Randy McElfresh is the new commander of the Ohio State Highway Patrol Batavia Post #13.
“I have devoted my life to law enforcement and I am excited to be the new commander,” McElfresh said in his office Feb. 5. “The Ohio State Highway Patrol, and all law enforcement officers, are committed to saving lives. It is always challenging but very rewarding work.”
McElfresh, a native of Felicity, became interested in law enforcement as a career during his sophomore year at the Felicity-Franklin High School. In 1994, he became a state trooper at the Batavia post (because he wanted to work for the best, he said) and spent nine years there before being offered a promotion in Brown County. He remained a sergeant there for three years before taking command of the Batavia Post #13 on Jan. 4.
In his new role as commander, McElfresh, 34, will be primarily responsible for the daily management and oversight of the post’s operations.
One important thing that McElfresh will be focusing his efforts on is Life Stat, a proactive program designed to decrease the annual number of traffic fatalities in the state.
Developed and implemented four years ago, the program has already resulted in a 10 percent reduction in traffic related deaths statewide; the Ohio State Highway Patrol is hopeful and very determined to keep that trend going.
"Life Stat is a very good and worthwhile approach," he said. "We are utilizing new technologies that can and do make a big difference in reducing fatals to a level that is down to or is at least equal with one death per every hundred million miles travelled each year by Ohio's citizens."
Life Stat is an enormous initiative and undertaking that does get results, McElfresh said, but it will be very difficult.
"The five-year fatal average in the state is about 25 people; just last year, 16 people lost their lives in traffic-related crashes and accidents. This year, we are hoping for no more than 13 deaths. Reaching that goal would be a wonderful milestone for the state."
McElfresh, who lives in Felicity with his wife Gina, step-son Bradlee, 10, son Mitchell, 9, and daughter Taylor, 3, said that a big part of the Life Step initiative is what he calls the three e's.
"For as long as I am here, this post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol will focus on education, engineering, and targeted enforcement to reduce traffic fatalities in the state. The state of law enforcement in Clermont County and the whole state is very strong and productive. Every department works very well together to ensure the safety of all citizens"
McElfresh replaces Lt. Paul Hermes who left as the Batavia Post commander the end of last year to take a job as a staff lieutenant in Wilmington.