The hard work and continuous efforts of the Greenfield Police Department were a point of discussion at Tuesday’s village council meeting where the city manager said that the amount of drug-related indictments coming from Greenfield is a matter of a focused and hard-working police department rather than a community overrun by drugs.
“As we read and watch the events unfolding throughout our nation, we must realize that this has the potential to impact our community as well and tends to create unneeded stress upon municipal police departments,” city manager Todd Wilkin said. “Our police department, lead by chief Jeremiah Oyer, works hard to ensure our community remains safe.”
Wilkin talked about how drug issues have infiltrated every community, not just Greenfield. But if someone read a news article on indictments at the county level handed down earlier on Tuesday, they would see about half of those indicted are from Greenfield.
“That doesn’t represent our community,” Wilkin said. “What it represents is that we have a police department working hard to get drugs off the streets.”
Council members agreed, particularly Mark Branham, who works in the county court in Greenfield.
“Most don’t see all the hard work they do,” he said of the police.
He said you might see a policeman on patrol driving down the street, but that’s just “a little tip of the iceberg.” You don’t see all the work that’s a product of patrol, of observations, of tips and leads, and following through on them,” he said.
“The chief is doing a great job, the officers, too,” Branham said.
On the related matter of police, the village will be giving away 30-40 bicycles Friday, Sept. 4 from 3-6 p.m. in the courtyard at the City Building. The bikes have been acquired by the police department over the course of nearly a year, Wilkin said.
“It’s unfortunate how we come by these,” Wilkin said, with a lot of them likely stolen and bikes being an easy means of transportation to commit criminal activity.
So the village is looking to get these bikes to kids in the community. Some of the bikes are in good shape, but others “will need a little bit of TLC,” he said.
It is first-come, first-served, and each child may receive one bike and must be accompanied by an adult. Each bike must be signed for by an adult.
In Wilkin’s report, he said Oct. 2-3 will be the inaugural Greenfield Food Truck Festival on South Washington Street. There are 11 food trucks set to participate in the event. Also part of the event will be a car show, a doughnut-eating contest, and an ax-throwing competition.
“COVID-19 has harmed most of our lives, and we would like to see people make a personal choice to come to Greenfield and enjoy a beautiful fall weekend playing in the streets of Greenfield,” Wilkin said.
He thanked Sandra Kelly for arranging and coordinating the effort.
On another matter, Wilkin said the village is to begin the process of working with G3 and the events surrounding the Christmas season.
“We want to continue to grow the parade, the tree-lighting ceremony, and have Mr. and Mrs. Clause on the City Hall lawn, with festive music and food for all to enjoy,” he said.
One idea he shared to grow the event is to have a Christmas tree decoration contest on the courtyard of the City Building.
“Last year we visited a neighboring community in December and fell in love with this idea,” Wilkin said. “There were hundreds of Christmas trees on display” with each tree decorated in a different way.
It was also reported that the village administration will meet with Highland County Community Action to create an agreement regarding Greenfield’s $104,000 share of CARES Act (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) money to assist residents who have been impacted by COVID-19. It is money that may only be spent on things impacted by the pandemic and will be audited separately by the state to ensure proper spending.
The idea of the local program, Wilkin said, is to assist residents who have suffered lost wages due to the pandemic with water bills and possibly water system repairs. The program won’t utilize all of Greenfield’s CARE Act dollars, so the administration is also looking into a small business loan/grant program to help local businesses that lost revenue due to the pandemic.
Wilkin reported that the village continues to work on informational packets for new citizens, something that will serve as a guide to businesses, churches, events, etc. in town. If a business or organization would like to make sure its information is in the packet, call the city offices at 937-981-3500.
Angela Shepherd is a correspondent for the village of Greenfield.