Hoping to boost calls, Ohio patrol advertises its hotline

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The State Highway Patrol hopes to boost public use of its hotline through a burst of marketing encouraging Ohioans to dial #677 to report crime tips and crashes.

That easier-to-dial combination replaced the old 1-877-7-PATROL number in 2012. A patrol spokesman says the number of calls to the line declined in recent years and plateaued around 2,500 calls per month.

Lt. Craig Cvetan (suh-VET’-en) says officials believe there are things that people could or should be reporting but aren’t. Officials say travelers could call to request help or report an impaired driver or suspected drug activity or human trafficking, for example.

Money seized in drug cases is being used to fund ads for the hotline on some digital billboards and fuel pumps and in newspapers.

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