BWC SID: Our Journey to Excellence – Part 2 of 3

By Jeff Baker, Program Administrator, BWC Special Investigations Department

In our constant quest for improvement, all members of the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation Special Investigations Department (SID) gathered on October 22, 2015 at our Mansfield service office to successfully complete annual in-service training. The theme of this year’s training event was “Our Journey to Excellence: Past, Present and Future.” Led by SID Director Jim Wernecke, we shared investigative successes, learned how to use new technology recently secured, and committed to operational strategies for even greater effectiveness.

We’ve found that one of the chief ways to find new or alternate methods of fraud detection and investigation is to consult counterpart agencies. Such collaboration allows SID to examine its own methods to see where improvements can be made, how tasks can be accomplished more efficiently, and what new strategies or technologies can be used in the course of an investigation.

Fraudweek 1

Toby Smith commences his presentation.

This is why Director Wernecke wisely invited Toby Smith, a talented Assistant Director of Security Services with the Industrial Commission of Ohio, to be our keynote speaker. In fewer than 90 minutes, the retired sergeant with the Ohio State Highway Patrol increased our awareness and skills in conducting “Crucial Conversations” to enhance organizational communication and investigative team work.


Toby Smith holds certificate presented by Jim Wernecke.

To acknowledge our appreciation of his training, Director Wernecke presented Assistant Director Smith with a certificate, noting that it is an honor for us to recognize, praise and thank him. We respect and appreciate all of our law enforcement colleagues for their dedication to serving and protecting the citizens of the state of Ohio. Thanks to their willingness to effectively guide others on their respective journeys, we may be confident in soon reaching our intended destination.

You can read the first article about the October 22 event here and our most recent annual report here.

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