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Shooting of DNR officer should be punished

While most Ohioans are well aware of the dangers faced by law enforcement officers in police and sheriff’s departments, we don’t often consider the peril for those who work for other agencies.

State agents who enforce hunting laws often have to confront suspects who are carrying guns. Very seldom does that result in violence.

But it did last Sunday in Clinton County, Ohio, as state Department of Natural Resources officers were investigating a deer poaching complaint. One of the officers, wildlife investigator Kevin Behr, was shot. The 25-year DNR veteran was taken to a hospital but, fortunately, not with life-threatening injuries. Three suspects were arrested. It appears one of them fired the shot that hit Behr.

No one has yet been charged with the shooting, but among the charges they face are weapons under disability, no deer permit, no hunting license, hunting without permission and aiding an offender.

Assuming charges against the three are accurate, they — particularly the shooter — should be punished as severely as the law permits. They are scheduled to be arraigned today.

Shooting a DNR officer — or any other law enforcement agent — ought to bring the full wrath of the law down on the offender.

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