The Bellefontaine Police Department was recently named the November 2020 “Agency of the Month” for their outstanding community policing efforts.
In 2018, the Ohio Association of Chiefs of Police and the Law Enforcement Foundation formed a new committee named “Community Relations and Engagement” to work with agencies of all sizes and capabilities to highlight their positive work that’s being done around Ohio each and every day.
In 2019, the Ohio Association of Chiefs of Police and Law Enforcement Foundation Community Relations and Engagement Committee began a new program named “Sharing Ohio’s Best” to help bring awareness to the amazing work that agencies do all over Ohio to promote positive policing.
The Community Relations and Engagement Committee compiles submissions from agencies and selects one each month to be recognized. Each agency is eligible.
Typically, the committee focuses on creativity and how the program impacts the individual community. Recent programs that have been recognized include a teen driving course, programs to help the disabled, and programs focusing on community safety.
The Community Relations and Engagement Committee issued this statement “It is our pleasure to recognize the outstanding efforts by the Bellefontaine PD for their community policing commitment that helps make us stronger. We congratulate Chief Standley and the hardworking members of his agency that have gone above and beyond to provide quality community policing ideas to their citizens.”
Chief Brandon Standley added, “I am proud of this accomplishment and excited for my staff to see the fruits of their labor. They believe in providing our community with top-notch community policing programs that are free to everyone in most cases. My staff volunteers numerous hours each year to give back and support our growing community. Even through this pandemic, we have been able to plan creative ways to share in our community including drive-in movies. We would like to thank the Ohio Association of Chiefs of Police and the Law Enforcement Foundation for this honor”.
BPD is the 14th agency to be recognized in Ohio.
About Bellefontaine Police Department Community Relations Program
The Bellefontaine Police Department began the Cops and Bobbers program back in 2014, through a donation by Cabela’s, for fishing rods and fishing tackle to fund 30 kids to fish at any one time. Each year BPD offers two Cops and Bobbers events that puts officers and kids together for food, fishing, and fun. The goal is to help bridge the gap between officers and the city’s youth, by engaging in shared interests of fishing.
The Bellefontaine Police Department also offers an annual Community Safety Event. Local, State, and Federal agencies set up in an area to answer questions, meet visitors, pass out educational materials, and learn. It also is an event to support their K9 program through a fundraising dinner. Normally, multiple K9 demonstrations are done with K9 units from surrounding areas, including the US Marshals, Ohio Highway Patrol, Marysville Police, and others. Food, bounce houses, and a small petting zoo are all part of the event’s draw to get citizens to interact with local law enforcement agencies and EMS. With the generosity of MedFlight, CareFlight, Survivor Flight, Columbus Division of Police and Ohio Highway Patrol Aviation, at least four helicopters land and open their cockpits to kids and adults of all ages.
In 2012, the police department began Neighborhood Outreach events. The police department chooses a different neighborhood for four months out of the year to hold outreach events. These are normally done by closing part of a street, setting up a tent and a gas grill, then grilling out food for anyone who chooses to come. The local police also share important law enforcement-related topic information. For example, due to the heroin epidemic, the Bellefontaine PD shares with parents and kids about the dangers of addiction and how to get help. These events give citizens a chance get closer to law enforcement and share valuable tips on pending crimes, or suspect information of who may be committing crimes. They have proven very successful and offer citizens an opportunity to just walk out their door to speak to the police, instead of talking on a phone or having to travel to the police department to talk. The goal is to hold four or five of these events per year.
About Bellefontaine Police Department
The Bellefontaine Police Department serves approximately 13,500 residents. Along with numerous community partners, their mission has been focused on community policing philosophies for many years. Since 2012, new programs have been launched to involve youth, and adults. Through these extra programs, the police department has received numerous grants and donations from the public, to help offset expenses. They have also transformed the way the community sees their police department. Rather than being seen only in enforcement efforts, their staff has been engaged in volunteerism, coaching, and mentoring efforts, as a normal course of their duties.