Genoa Twp. addresses disruptive activities at Freeman Road Park

By Lenny C. Lepola

May 7, 2014

Folks tend to like public parks user-friendly for everyone of any age, but some Genoa Township residents living near Freeman Road Park are concerned that that’s not always the case. Residents who reside adjacent to the park were in chambers during last Thursday evening’s Genoa Township Board of Trustees meeting to express concerns about activities occurring on the basketball court, in other areas of the park, and along adjoining roadways.

Specific concerns were fighting and vandalism, as well as the volume and offensive language being used by individuals using the park on a daily basis. They said the behaviors and lack of respect for neighbors discourages many residents from using the park.

Genoa Township Police Chief Steve Gammill said his department would ensure proper patrols with increased frequency, including regular daily checks on the park and strict enforcement of park hours and rules.

Gammill said patrols will include foot and bike patrols, including plainclothes officers to observe and detect any unruly behavior; and he would report back to the trustees on the effectiveness of the patrols.

Gammill also asked residents to continue to call the police if they witness disturbing activities. He also said residents should call 911 in the event of a life threatening emergency or otherwise direct any complaints to police dispatch at 740-833-2300; and the township will install signage listing emergency contact phone numbers.

Additionally, the Board of Trustees stated they would continue to direct the Genoa Township Police Department to coordinate with residents to ensure proper actions are taken to discourage, and hopefully eliminate, disruptive activity at the park in the future.

The Genoa Township Maintenance Department will remove damaged basketball hoops; and staff was directed to research the matter and recommend modified park rules for use in all township parks.