Several volunteers of the Delhi Citizens on Patrol team were recently recognized at an Oak Hills Local School District board meeting on July 9, at the district office, for their service to the district and Delhi schools. “It’s an honor for a school district to recognize them and what they do. They do a lot for the district and the community in general,” remarked Police Chief Jim Howarth when the volunteers received their certificates. “We’re all in this together. We can’t do our job without a positive school relationship. We are pleased to support Oak Hills whenever we can.”
In 1999 the Delhi Citizens Police Association (DCPA) was formed after the first Citizen’s Police Academy class graduated. The group was created to help support the Delhi Police with unexpected budgetary items that surfaced throughout the year. They are governed by a board consisting of a President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer and three trustees.
The Association is open to anyone interested in supporting the police force. Yearly dues are $12. Currently there are approximately 40 active members. They volunteer their time on Saturdays and Sundays answering the phones and coordinate and execute their major fundraiser, an annual spring golf outing. The outing, held at Aston Oaks, is open to anyone with money raised used to purchase items like extra patrol bicycles. The Association meets the last Thursday of the month at the Delhi Senior Center. All are welcome to attend.
“Delhi is a wonderful community and we’re very proud to be associated with it and to be working in conjunction with the police department to keep our township as it is and to keep it safe,” said DCPA President Tom Winkler.
Chief Howarth commented that they couldn’t do their jobs as successfully without the help of all of their volunteers and mentioned that what the DCPA does for them is endless.
Did you also know there’s another group within the Delhi Police Department who offer their help and support to the community and the Oak Hills School District? The Delhi Citizens on Patrol (COP) is an organization within the DCPA which started in 2004. There are approximately 15 COP members who act as the eyes and ears, an extension of the police force, in the community. Training for the COP includes radio procedures in the event of an emergency, and reviewing codes and police language.
The COP also help with a number of other functions in the community by providing extra help for events such as the Delhi Skirt game, the Christmas parade, summer festivals, routing traffic during storms when there are fallen trees or power lines, assisting with parking at major Delhi events, and acting as crossing guards during school sponsored walks in the neighborhood. “If we are getting hit in a particular area by an increase in crime, they are there to serve as an extension of us by notifying officers on duty of any suspicious activity. They, themselves, do not take enforcement action but riding around in clearly marked COP vehicles they are a visible presence and serve to alert police when a situation arises,” explained Chief Howarth.
“They allow our officers to be available to respond to emergencies faster during calls for service, and they love doing it!” remarked the Chief. “I just can’t say a bad thing about them.”
When asked about the COP, Melinda Klenk, Citizens on Patrol volunteer shared, “It’s an excellent organization. It does great things for the police department, our most valuable asset in this community. Without them we just wouldn’t have the community that we have.” Klenk has been a member of the COP for a year and a half.
“It is important to note that the COP are strictly volunteers who spend their free time keeping our students and community safe. They dedicate so much of themselves and ask nothing in return. We are lucky to have such a fine group of citizens on our side bettering our community where we live, work and play,” Howarth shared. In 2005 the Association began logging the amount of community hours served. To date, members have provided over 10,000 volunteer hours!
“I personally couldn’t ask for a better group of volunteers than what we have. Everyone works together,” said Winkler who growing up wanted to be a police officer. He’s happy that he now gets to help in a volunteer capacity. “Community oriented policing works. What we need to have are more communities in the area and across the country that have this program. Every time you have an additional set of eyes and ears on the street it’s a tremendous help to law enforcement.”
The next time you see a Delhi Police volunteer please stop and thank them for their service. The hours they put in are countless and their dedication is priceless. Oak Hills is proud to be a partner of the Delhi Police Department, DCPA and COP.
If you’re interested in joining the next 13-week Citizen’s Police Academy beginning in September, contact Lt. Jeff Braun at 513-922-0060. The Academy meets one night a week for three hours. The goal is to transform the graduates into members of the DCPA. “It’s a great tool to show the community what it is that we do,” said Chief Howarth.
Delhi Township spans 13 square miles and is home to 31,000 residents. There are currently 28 paid officers, so the need for volunteers is extremely important. For more information please visit http://www.delhi.oh.us/police.html.