Powell police update city council

City of Powell Police Chief Gary Vest updated Powell City Council about police business during its Tuesday meeting and said Powell is fortunate to not have “major crimes.”

“I’m always pleased that I don’t have big issues to report,” Vest said.

Vest said the most common crime the police department deals with is thefts, including many from unlocked vehicles, and he urged residents not to leave valuables in their vehicles.

He added the city can go weeks without any vehicle break-ins and then have half a dozen in one night.

Vest said another common crime is fraud, especially around tax season. Vest said fraud is a difficult crime to track down because the perpetrators don’t have to be present and can scam people from anywhere. He warned that “if it sounds too good to be true, it probably isn’t” true when it comes to getting mysterious checks in the mail or calls from banks.

Vest also urged residents to file their tax returns as soon as possible to avoid their tax returns getting hijacked by scammers.

With regard to vehicle crashes, Vest said about one third of the crashes in the city are people getting rear-ended. Vest said distracted driving continues to be a factor in crashes.

Looking ahead, Vest said the police department is continuing to focus on giving officers more training and formulating a five-year strategic plan.

Council also heard a presentation about the Wedgewood Health and Safety Fair which will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Feb. 24 at the Wedgewood Golf and Country Club, 9600 Wedgewood Blvd., Powell.

Admission is free for the event, which will include local vendors, the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, and health professionals.

Mayor Jon Bennehoof also read a proclamation in memory of Powell resident Jo Ann Cornish-Gerwig. Bennehoof said Cornish-Gerwig was a founding member of the Powell Garden Club, a former president of the Powell Liberty Historical Society, a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution, and a member of the Mayflower Society.

“… During her lifetime, she has demonstrated in countless ways her dedication to the welfare of others and has earned the respect and affection of people from all walks of life and all ages,” Bennehoof said.

Cornish-Gerwig passed away in January, and Bennehoof extended the city’s deepest sympathies to her husband, Ron, who accepted the proclamation.

“She really loved Powell,” Ron Gerwig said.

By Glenn Battishill

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Contact Glenn Battishill at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.