GALENE – Among the more than 500 people who visited the new Genoa Township Police Station when it opened in July was Delaware County Prosecutor Melissa Schiffel.
“I was so happy to be invited and very excited to see the fantastic addition to Delaware County,” Schiffel wrote in the township’s latest newsletter. “You may be surprised to learn that our office was instrumental in commissioning the new police headquarters. We participated in the tendering process and offered contractual advice throughout the project.
Schiffel said his office provides statutory legal advice to the county’s 18 townships, helping in ways that cannot be achieved. For example, the Delaware County District Attorney’s Office helped draft an application to negotiate the transport of waste to Genoa.
“This means that we are in regular contact with the staff of the Canton of Genoa providing legal advice in many different areas, including general township affairs, human resources, police, fire and zoning,” said Schiffel. “As legal counsel, it is our role to provide the law to the board (or zoning, or police department, etc.) to enable the board to make the most solid and best decision for the canton and its residents. ”
“Trustees should also be familiar with human resource policies and zoning bylaws,” added Connie M. Goodman in her report as Trustee. “Although trustees are bonded, actions and decisions beyond their authority or the law may result in personal liability. “
The Canton of Genoa Police Department is investigating an August 9 incident at Westerville Central High School involving members of the football team.
“We have been in contact with the Delaware County District Attorney’s Office and will forward the investigation to them once it is complete to determine which criminal charges, if any, are appropriate,” Chief Steve Gammill said in a message to the public. “If you have any information relevant to this investigation, please contact us at 614-568-2060. “
A separate incident, involving indecent exposure at the Alcott Elementary School playground on August 12, was reported to the Genoa PD, Gammill wrote.
Both of these schools are in the Westerville City School District. At the start of the school year, Gammill wrote, “This is our annual reminder not to speed up in our school zones. We take the safety of our children seriously and will have additional patrols in school zones to stop speeding tickets and issue them tickets. We have a zero tolerance policy on this, so please watch out for those flashing lights and slow down. Also watch the loading and unloading of school buses.
A wave of vehicle break-ins recently occurred in the township, and Gammill noted that the Bureau of Justice Statistics said crime follows seasonal patterns, peaking in the summer.
Lock the doors of your home and vehicle, keep garage doors closed and report any suspicious activity to the Canton of Genoa Police Department by calling 911 in case of emergency or the non-emergency dispatch line (740- 833-2800), “he wrote. “Both phone numbers are permanently staffed. “
If you find yourself in danger or need help after hours, the new police station at 6921 Big Walnut Road has a lobby safe just outside the front doors. You can walk into the room, lock yourself in, and use a phone that goes straight to 911.
“The walls are bulletproof and you’ll be safe until the officers arrive in a few minutes to get you out,” Gammill wrote. “The station’s exterior doors are always unlocked, but the interior doors are locked after normal business hours. There have been tragic situations in other cities in the past where a person in need of assistance went to a police station only to find no one there. We want to make sure that doesn’t happen here.
Fernando Sanchez was sworn in as a full-time police officer by finance officer Pat Myers at Genoa City Hall at 5111 South Old 3C Highway, Westerville on August 5. The township website said the Genoa Police Department is now hiring.
Gary Budzak can be reached at 740-413-0906 or on Twitter @GaryBudzak.