Genoa Township’s police chief has issued statements on two of the year’s major topics — George Floyd and COVID-19.
Chief Steve Gammill issued the following post on Facebook May 28:
“Like everyone else I was shocked, horrified, and disgusted at seeing the killing of George Floyd by the Minneapolis police officers. I normally don’t comment about incidents around the country, but in this case, I think it’s important for all police chiefs to speak out. Those officers should not only have been fired once the video showed their actions, but they should have been arrested for murder. Mr. Floyd’s family deserves justice.
As a police officer for over 40 years, what sickened me the most was the callousness and utter lack of humanity those officers displayed. I truly believe the vast, vast majority of police officers around the country are hard working, dedicated public servants who work hard to build trust and credibility within their community. Incidents like this destroy all that work particularly in minority communities. It makes all of our jobs harder.
Those of us who believe in what our profession stands for need to speak out against police misconduct when we see it. Those officers are a disgrace to their badge and profession, and should face criminal charges.”
As for COVID-19, Gammill posted on July 8 about face masks, saying he supported Gov. DeWine’s orders.
“I wear a mask anytime I go in a store or encounter people outside,” Gammill wrote. “I think it makes me safer and much better-looking.”
As for whether or not the township can issue a mask mandate, Gammill said, “The township has received legal advice that they don’t have the authority to enact such an order. That would have to come from the county or state … Any orders would be enforced by the health department.”
He did note that if a business has a policy to wear a mask, patrons would need to comply. “If you refuse, you could be charged with criminal trespass and we would respond,” he said. In addition, he requested that people “don’t get involved in a confrontation with someone over wearing or not wearing a mask.”
In other police department matters, construction on the new headquarters continues, and the Tyvek-wrapped building can be seen by those driving along State Route 3. The community can also take a virtual tour of the progress on Facebook.
In June, Officer Jim Day retired after seven years with Genoa and 33 years with the Columbus Division of Police. In May, assessors from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc. evaluated the department. Genoa has received the prestigious CALEA recognition twice before.
The other major construction in the township is also on SR 3, an addition to the Genoa Baptist Church. The church has held outdoor drive-in services in recent months.
Gary Budzak may be reached at 740-413-0906 or on Twitter @GaryBudzak.