GPD says HCSO ‘unpleasant’


On July 1, the Greenfield Police Department began covering of all of Madison Township following a contract worked out between the township trustees and the village of Greenfield, but the transition has met with some obstacles.

According to Greenfield City Manager Todd Wilkin at the July 17 village council meeting, the discussions that lead to the contract have gone on for years relating to Madison Township citizens outside of Greenfield’s municipal boundaries not getting police protection as quickly as they need because the sheriff’s office that routinely convers it is 20 minutes away, and even then a responding deputy might be coming from the other side of the county. Oftentimes, Wilkin said, Greenfield ends up covering the Madison Township calls anyway.

Additionally, the expanded jurisdiction serves to further hamper drug and other criminal activity, Wilkin said.

Since the contract began, though, Wilkin said the village has received “unpleasant” phone calls from the sheriff’s office, unscheduled meetings from the sheriff and deputy sheriff, and unfair treatment at the county jail. Additionally, 9-1-1 calls have yet, at least by the time Wilkin prepared his report on Monday, to be transferred to Greenfield, something that has been requested twice by the trustees of Madison Township, once through a mailed letter and then by certified letter.

Council member Cory Taylor asked Wilkin what the next step would be to get the emergency calls transferred to Greenfield. Wilkin answered that Highland County Prosecutor Anneka Collins, who also represents all the townships, would likely have to get involved.

Wilkin noted that while the issues are likely politically fueled, this is something that could end up being a matter of life and death if those calls don’t get transferred.

“This is very unfortunate as it is our job to protect the peace and safety of all the citizens of Greenfield, and now also the citizens of Madison Township,” Wilkin said.

The citizens of Madison Township will be able to weigh in with their vote on the police protection through Greenfield Police Department on the November ballot, Wilkin said, as the trustees have said, they plan to have the measure added.

In other business, Carol Grate is July’s citizen of the month. Grate was nominated by another citizen for her “character and years of volunteerism on several Greenfield projects.” Wilkin noted that Grate is an avid runner and is often seen running throughout the town, and while she’s running she is able to carry on a conversation without struggle, something a lot of us would find challenging. She has run the Boston Marathon two times, he said. Grate is “always full of positive energy and has a tremendous outlook on life,” Wilkin said.

Rob Hamilton of the Greenfield Police Department is July’s employee of the month. Wilkin said village employees recently took part in a weight loss competition against one another. While only about 12 employees participated, they lost nearly 150 pounds combined. Wilkin said, “Hamilton was the overall loser, but also the winner.” And for that hard work and the decision to get healthier, he was recognized.

Wilkin also reported that the village recently met with the U.S. Army Corp. of Engineers about ideas for development at the quarry. Steering committee meetings are happening regarding this development, which is included in what would be considered Greenfield’s parks district.

The village has been working with OHM Advisors and PROS Consulting as part of the planning process through the Appalachian Community Grant program to develop a parks district. The village met with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to gauge its position on development at the quarry, specifically for a campground. The meeting was positive, Wilkin said, and he is now tasked with putting a narrative together regarding the development ideas for further review by the USACE.

While the “end plan” is not yet known as far as development, Wilkin said, right now it is in the village’s best interest to go ahead and get the USACE on board, which can be beneficial down the road.

Near the conclusion of the meeting, council members remarked on the all-class reunion held on July 15 at McClain High School and what a “phenomenal” event it was, adding thanks to all those who organized the event. Wilkin thanked Ron Coffey for reading the village’s proclamation in his place for the Edward Lee McClain Day ceremony that kicked off the day’s events.

Angela Shepherd is a correspondent for the village of Greenfield.

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