GALENA — More than 500 people attended a Saturday afternoon open house inside the new Genoa Township Police Station at 6921 Big Walnut Road.
“We would like to thank everyone that came out to our open house this past Saturday,” the Genoa Township Police Department posted Monday morning on Facebook. “We really enjoyed sharing our building with you.”
With COVID-19 restrictions lifted, visitors got a chance to go through the completed station, even into holding cells, while greeted by officers who fielded questions. There were three officers who were mounted on horses to the delight of youngsters and adults alike.
Interestingly, the most questions were about the uncompleted landscaping around the building. For example, there’s dirt in front of the 16,387-square-foot facility instead of a lawn.
“In short, we are working on it and hope to have some completed grading and landscaping done by the end of summer!,” was the Facebook response.
While there’s work to do on the outside, the inside of the station is completed. The new station replaces the former one located next door off of state Route 3. That facility, which began life as a picnic shelter in the 1970s, was shared with the township’s fire department. The former facility lacked space and was showing signs of deterioration.
Residents came to the rescue, approving a 0.8-mil property tax bond levy in 2018 to construct a new station across the street on land previously purchased by the township. The former American Legion building was demolished.
The Genoa Township Board of Trustees approved the design and budget for the station in early 2019. Later that year, construction began. On Dec. 15, 2020, a ceremonial ribbon cutting took place with safety precautions in place. Tours were given to small groups.
The township has a population of more than 25,000 and more than 8,000 households. Those numbers have called for the hiring of additional officers in recent years. And there’s plenty to keep them busy. Here’s some of the activity the police have been involved in during the last couple of months:
• They found two dogs spooked by fireworks over the July 4th holiday. One was reunited with her family.
• Alerted residents that the intersection of Mt. Royal Avenue and South Old 3C Highway was impassable due to high water on July 1.
• Began its most recent Citizen Police Academy in June.
• Investigated a case of a burnt Port-a-Potty in Hilmar Park, which was completely melted.
• Received blessings and thanks from the kindergarten, preschool and senior classes at Genoa Academy.
• Offered Narcan training to 30 residents on May 18 with the Delaware Public Health District.
• Took a juvenile male into custody for shooting two juvenile females with a BB gun at Hilmar Park in mid-May. A photo of the gun reveals “it could easily be mistaken for a real gun by the officers.”
• Participated in the vehicular pursuit of a murder suspect who was eventually arrested in Columbus in late May. The suspect drove through the grass at Genoa Baptist Church and onto SR 3. The dramatic dashcam footage can be seen on the department’s Facebook page.
Gary Budzak may be reached at 740-413-0906 or on Twitter @GaryBudzak.