A Message From Mayor Laurie Jadwin and Police Chief Jeff Spence, 6.3.2020:
Please join us tomorrow, Thursday, June 4, at 12 p.m. at Creekside Plaza, for a special gathering in a show of unity, as we #SupportGahannaTogether.
Community leaders, including Rev. Dr. Joel King, Jr., Pastor Victor Davis of Trinity Baptist Church, and Pastor Mark Condon of Infinite Church, will be leading our time together.
From Mayor Jadwin:
“As events have unfolded over the last several days, it has been difficult to find words that can fully convey the raw emotions that have been generated from what has been seen. The senseless killing of Mr. George Floyd was horrific to watch and was an indefensible loss of life. We have witnessed anger and frustration expressed through peaceful protests. And we have seen needless violence, damage and destruction caused by unrelated outsiders seeking to capitalize on the pain of others.
All of this stands as a vivid and stark reminder that, even in the year 2020, deep divides continue to exist in our country. That many people in our nation and all over the world continue to experience unequal and unjust treatment. That even a quiet, family-oriented suburb like Gahanna is not immune to the hurt and pain – or the experiences – that are in issue.
Earlier this week, as I was struggling to articulate what to say to our Gahanna community, I had the opportunity to speak with two women who were peacefully protesting in front of City Hall. They were open and direct in sharing their personal experiences, their concerns and their insights, and our conversation was both enlightening and revealing. They helped me to fully realize that not everyone feels safe here, that not everyone feels welcome here – and that we need to change how we treat one another.
The message that has been delivered across the nation has been loud and clear. And that message was echoed in the many conversations that I have had with residents over the last several days. We need to engage the members of the black community in our city, and we need to listen. We need to listen to each other. The emotions that are spurring on recent events are rooted in generations of broken relationships, injustices, and prejudices of all kinds. They did not begin with a devastating tragedy in Minneapolis, Minnesota, but perhaps they can end there.
The road ahead is not smooth and it will not resolve quickly. It will require open and frank discussions – discussions that may be uncomfortable at times, but that will be necessary if we are to move our city – and our nation – forward. There is no simple answer, and the next steps that we take cannot be a knee-jerk reaction. We need a thoughtful response and a unified plan of action – where everyone works together to define a path forward. There is no listening, no understanding, if one side simply imposes rules on the other. Only by truly hearing one another will we be able to move forward together. We, elected officials and our Chief of Police, need to lead the way.
While the shocking actions of officers in Minneapolis do not reflect the actions of our officers here in Gahanna, their actions nonetheless erode the trust and confidence that all communities must be able to place in their police departments. As the head of Gahanna’s Police Department, Chief Jeff Spence has worked over the last two years to build relationships and trust within our community, focusing on increased training, greater transparency and approachability, and increased accountability in conduct. Learning and growing are a continuous process, and our Chief, along with our Director of Public Safety and me, remain committed and dedicated to continuing to pursue the highest standards in law enforcement conduct for our Gahanna community.”
From Chief of Police, Jeff Spence:
"To the Gahanna community and beyond….we hear you and share in your outrage over the senseless death of George Floyd. The Gahanna Division of Police, over the last two years has undergone transformative changes to be leaders in ethical, constitutionally-based community policing. We strive each day to live up to our core values of Respect, Integrity, Commitment and Professionalism. These are not simply words, but our commitment to you. As one Gahanna, we can heal the wounds that have divided our central Ohio communities and our nation. We can move forward creating lasting bonds between our citizens and those that serve to protect. As one we can ensure transparency, accountability and craft a department that is representative of the diversity in our great community. True understanding is for us all to look through the eyes of another person. Understand their viewpoints, their history and share in their experiences. Through true understanding we will move beyond hurt, pain and loss toward a brighter future. The men and women of the Division of Police stand with you, and are committed to paving the way to that bright future together." ... See MoreSee Less
Let the POC in Gahanna organize these events. Which they did for this Saturday.
Your job is to sit back and listen right now.
I am not able to attend tomorrow, though I am hopeful the conversations that arise will be beneficial to our community, our residents, and all of the people who pass through Gahanna. I would like to share this information, 8 changes that can decrease Police Violence up to 72%.
#SupportingGahannaTogether, Unity Gathering Thursday, June 4, 12 p.m. Creekside Plaza
As one of the most diverse suburban communities in Franklin County, it's time to listen to one another, encourage one another, and remain united. Our Police Department, City leaders, local church leaders, and residents from all over Gahanna are invited to participate in this event.
#COVID_19 Update, 6.1.20: Park Shelter Houses, Playgrounds, and Paddle Boats/Kayaks
Park Facilities: a revised order was signed by Dr. Acton on 5.29.20. It extended restrictions on use of “public recreation facilities”.
All park rental facilities, including shelter houses are closed until July 1. Refunds for June shelter house reservations will be processed this week.
Public playgrounds, including all City and School District playgrounds, are also closed to the public through July 1.
Youth Programming: Our Parks and Recreation Department will be announcing details on our revised youth programming by Monday, June 8. This program will be available starting July 6.
Kayaks and Paddleboats: We will be opening our Kayak and Paddleboat rentals this Friday, June 5.
Please go to: Paddlegahanna.com (available June 3) and sign up for a time slot. Online payment is accepted and encouraged. For any questions about programming or refunds, please call our Parks and Recreation Department: 614-342-4250.
As of today, Ohio has 35,984 coronavirus cases, 2,206 deaths, and 6,112 hospitalizations. Franklin County has the most cases in Ohio with 1,475, 68 deaths, and 202 hospitalizations.
Governor DeWine is not holding daily press conferences, however, we will continue to post updates on how Gahanna is impacted by the coronavirus periodically, including information on facility operations and programming changes.
In April alone, @GRIN4Gahanna provided food to 375 families, within @GahannaJeffersn School District in Gahanna. This is a 110% increase over April 2019. Help us help more people.