WESTERVILLE — Road construction often means detours on less-traveled roads, and those detours mean more traffic and more speeding. That’s the case in Genoa Township, too.
“We are aware that speeding in the Highland Lakes/St. Andrews area has increased with more cars using that as a detour from the Worthington Road construction,” Genoa Police Chief Steve Gammill posted on Facebook May 20. “We will be increasing speed enforcement in that area, and other areas impacted by the construction, with units dedicated to running radar during specific times. We aren’t going to advertise which times so to avoid getting a ticket just slow down!”
Highland Lakes is the largest subdivision in Ohio, and it is between Worthington Road and state Route 3. Traffic is more than many subdivisions, yet it is not as much as the thoroughfares which border it.
On May 24, the Genoa police had extra patrols around the township’s schools in response to the school shooting that occurred the prior day in Uvalde, Texas. That shooting at Robb Elementary School left 19 children and two teachers dead.
In addition, the department’s therapy K-9 Rocky was on hand to comfort schoolchildren on May 25. That same day, Gammill posted about this shooting as well as another shooting earlier this month that killed 10 people at a grocery store in Buffalo, New York. Both shootings were committed by 18-year-olds.
“Both of these disturbed teenagers used high powered semi-automatic rifles and wore body armor,” Gammill said on Facebook. “I also carried an M-16 and had body armor when I was 18, but I was in the Army training for war. The military had strict regulations on when we had access to that rifle, body armor, and live rounds.”
Gammill said he supports the Second Amendment, “but at some point, we need to ask ourselves how it makes sense that a teenager who can’t legally buy a beer, can legally buy weapons like this. I am not blaming the gun, but a weapon like this in the hands of disturbed individuals, especially teenagers, is a recipe for disaster. Can we at least have a rational discussion about this?”
He wondered if it was “too much to ask our elected officials at all levels to put their partisan differences aside and come up with solutions?”
Gammill said the shootings won’t stop unless solutions are found.
“Until then we in law enforcement will continue to run to the sound of gunfire, stop the shooters, and give the most horrific news to the victim’s families that they could ever hear. We are sick and tired of having to do so.”
Gary Budzak may be reached at 740-413-0906 or on Twitter @GaryBudzak.