Scioto County Children’s Services Director, Jason Mantell has expressed serious concerns about a recent SCDN article focusing on a police log about a call involving CPS workers.
As part of their policy of transparency, the Portsmouth Police Department makes daily briefings available to the press, including SCDN. A portion of a recent Police Chief’s Daily Briefing included an incident where a Portsmouth PD officer stood their ground with a CPS worker. Emotions were running high during this call. If you haven’t checked it out yet, we’ll show you our report and a screenshot of the actual police incident report. Then, follow that up with Director Mantell’s take on the whole matter.
Officer Threatens to Arrest CPS Supervisor
A Portsmouth officer went all out to protect some kids from a dangerous living situation just before 4 pm.
CPS asked for help checking out a Kinney’s Lane home where suspected squatters were living with kids. The Health Department was on the scene as well. The children were still at their school.
Police found the home in bad condition and the Health Department condemned the house.
The officer returned to the school to speak with the CPS caseworker. It seems the caseworker’s supervisor was hesitant to remove the children. The officer sent their bodycam footage to CPS to examine and made a pretty bold statement. “If the supervisor sends kids back to the house, I will arrest them for child endangering.”
The children were placed with a family member while CPS worked on a safety plan.
Here is a copy of that incident report. As our Best Practices policy states, we do not reveal specific names in these reports. So, we redacted that information.
The Mantell Response
Scioto County Children’s Services Director, Mr. Mantell asked that we publish his agency’s response to that report.
“We responded appropriately as we would not leave children in that type of environment; the children are safe and none of our supervisors were directly threatened with arrest for child endangerment.”
After further discussions. Mantell offered an additional statement. “CPS does value our relationship with PPD and have great respect for what they provide our community; in this case, we simply want to clarify our position on the matter as we feel confident that we appropriately addressed the concern and placed children in a safe environment, without hesitation. “
A Publisher’s Note
Portsmouth Police Officers frequently respond to child welfare checks and often find themselves in the position of not being legally able to do anything to assist kids. CPS workers also frequently find their hands tied by state laws.
There’s a reason these situations can get tense: Passion. Law Enforcement, the Court System, Educators, Administrators, CPS, and SCDN are all passionate about the defense of the defenseless. Each has proven this passion through their dedication to public service. Unfortunately, the public doesn’t get a chance to see the behind-the-scenes effort these tireless workers put in on the job.
What drives passion is a force of emotion and determination. Even when all parties largely agree, from time to time emotions can swell.
We appreciate all involved in the protection of our children and at-risk adults. Among all of the agencies and services listed, there are hundreds of people working day by day to make Scioto County safer, more productive, and attractive to new investments.
They are passionate and we are passionate. Steel becomes stronger when it is heated and then allowed to cool down. Tempering will make us all stronger. After all, the battle rages and we need all resources to be at maximum strength.