ENON – The Village of Enon Police Department has added a part-time police officer to its full-time ranks.
Mayor Tim Howard reaffirmed the oath of office to Officer Matthew L. Harper during the Tuesday, Aug. 12 village council meeting as Harper’s proud parents stood by his side. Harper, who is a 2011 graduate of Sinclair Community College Police Academy, was originally hired as a part-time police officer for the village in March 2013.
“I want to congratulate Officer Harper on his appointment,” Howard said. “I am sure he will continue to be an asset to the community.”
According to Enon Police Chief Lewis Wilcox, the 23-year-old officer was chosen among three candidates seeking the full-time position left vacant following the departure of Enon Police Officer Jeremiah Bradley. Wilcox stated that Bradley had left the police department to pursue a career in construction.
Wilcox told village council members that Harper had completed a number of police-training programs during the 17 months he served the village as a part-time officer, including ASTTP (Active Shooter Threat Training Program), RAIDER (Rapid Deployment, Awareness, Intervention, Decisiveness, EMS, and Recovery), ARIDE (Advanced Roadside Impaired Driving Enforcement), Taser, weapons retention, and radar training programs.
“It is great that Officer Harper brings this training to the full-time position,” said Wilcox.
The police chief also noted that the promotion of Officer Harper to full-time status would restore the department’s full-time workforce to four. The department also employs five part-time police officers.
Harper will begin his full-time duties with the Enon Police Department on Aug. 18 and will serve a six-month probationary period as mandated by the state.
In other business, Chief Wilcox expressed a well-deserved thank you to all the volunteers who participated in Enon’s National Night Out event last Tuesday evening at Indian Valley Middle School and paid special tribute to Enon Administrative Assistant Kristy Thome who, according to Wilcox, contributed much to the success of the local National Night Out program.
“Without these wonderful people, this annual event would not happen,” Wilcox said. “And, Kristy is the glue that brings National Night Out together each year.”
The police chief pointed out to village council members that the National Night Out program was “dumped in Thome’s lap” in 2012 because of her vast knowledge of the workings of the Enon Government Center and her familiarity with the village.
“She was the obvious choice to lead the National Night Out effort. So, in 2013, Kristy began functioning as the unofficial chairperson of the annual event,” said Wilcox. “Once Kristy gets focused on National Night Out, it is hard to get her off the subject. She brings drive, determination, and interest to the planning of the event; and she constantly asks how we can keep it exciting for all those in attendance, especially the young kids.”
The police chief reported that 1,300 people attended the 2014 event, and 1,188 hot dogs were served to village and township residents. Wilcox stated that 647 raffle tickets were sold at National Night Out, with the proceeds from the raffle going toward the department’s annual Shop with a Cop program.
“Everyone seemed to have a really good time meeting officers and enjoying the games and activities throughout the evening,” Wilcox said.
Wilcox also thanked the many sponsors who contributed financial support, refreshments, and volunteered workers for the event.
“The National Night Out hosted in Enon is something very special and unique to small town USA. It just gets bigger and better each year,” Wilcox noted. “National Night Out is always included when people talk about the awesome fireworks show, the Fourth of July Parade, the Apple Butter Festival, and other popular events.”
According to Wilcox, planning for the next National Night Out event began the day after the 2014 event and would continue through the winter, spring, and summer until the first Tuesday in August 2015 when National Night Out will be held once again.
The police chief also announced that the next fundraiser for the Shop with a Cop program would be a car show scheduled from 6-8 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 24 at Settler’s Park, located at the corner of Main Street and S. Xenia Drive in Enon. Entry fee will be $10 per vehicle. Owners of the first 100 cars registered for the car show will receive a unique dash plaque. Wilcox said that hot dogs and water will be served while they last, and he is also planning musical entertainment for the event.
Council members unanimously approved closing portions of S. Xenia Drive for the car show.
In conclusion, Wilcox reported to village council members that an out-of-state fugitive was captured in the village on July 31. The fugitive, who was previously charged with the distribution of dangerous drugs, was apprehended and taken into custody without incident near Hunter Road. Afterwards, the fugitive was expedited to another state.
The next regular session of the Enon Village Council is 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 26 at the Enon Government Center, 363 E Main St.