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BOARDMAN Shooting prompts equipment upgrade



Published: Thu, June 14, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



The shooting showed officials a potentially weak spot in officer protection.

By JOHN W. GOODWIN JR.

VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER

BOARDMAN -- Township police are drawing from past experiences in preparing for the future with additional equipment and training.

Trustees recently gave the department permission to buy two armor shields from Red Diamond Uniform & amp; Police Supply Inc. of Austintown for $2,286.

Capt. Stephen Balog told trustees the equipment upgrade was inspired in part by a shooting incident involving township police and officers from other departments earlier this year.

About the shooting: Floyd Mioni, 43, dressed in camouflage and using a rifle or shotgun, fired 13 to 16 shots at a cable company building just south of Western Reserve Road about 9:30 p.m. Feb. 12, touching off a three-hour confrontation with police.

When he noticed a Beaver Township cruiser, he fired at the officer, reports show.

Troopers from the Ohio State Highway Patrol at Canfield, a Mahoning County sheriff's corporal and officers from Boardman, Canfield, Poland, Springfield and New Middletown joined Beaver Township police in setting up a perimeter in the Woodworth-Maplecroft Road-Luther Road area.

Boardman and Canfield police used dogs to track the suspect.

Mioni was eventually shot in the jaw, back and stomach and later died.

Little protection: Boardman Capt. Richard Sell said officers in those situations have little protection against high-powered weapons besides a bullet-proof vest.

"What we saw at the time was that everybody was hiding behind cars, which is not the best physical protection for officers," said Sell. "Basically, there is no need to put officers in harm's way when this type of equipment is available."

The shields are designed to cover most of the body from the head to below the knees.

Sell said they will be used in situations where an officer faces a strong possibility of being shot like in the Beaver Township case.

Sell said officials may buy helmets to go with the shields for added head protection.

Officers will also undergo additional training for high-risk situations.

The additional training is not a response to the shooting in February, but in line with what Sell calls "an overall change in the thought process of police training."

He said the increasing number of dangerous situations such as school shootings have made police look at training in a new light.




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