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Local Medina County News

Bike giveaway concludes 'Meet the Chief' season

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    One of the bicycles given away Wednesday during Medina Township's "Meet the Chief" program was from Spin Bike Shop Medina. On hand for the promotion, from left, Andrea Stainbrook, Wal-Mart protection manager; Medina Township Police Chief Dave Arbogast; Medina Township Officer Cliff Nicholson; and Spin owner Ray Wagner.

    BOB FINNAN / GAZETTE

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    Tommy Villwock, left, 5, of Medina, and Nicholas Mayo, 6, of Harrisville Township, do coloring work Wednesday during Medina Township's Meet the Chief night at Yours Truly restaurant. Officer Cliff Nicholson jokingly tells the boys to look at the camera.

    BOB FINNAN / GAZETTE

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MEDINA TWP. — The season’s final “Meet the Chief” night Wednesday was all about bicycles.

May is Bike Safety Month and youths ages 15 and younger were invited to enter a drawing to win bicycles from Spin Bike Medina and Wal-Mart. The promotion was led by township Police Chief Dave Arbogast.

The winners were Brian DuPratt (Spin) and Lizzie Worden (Wal-Mart). Both will be fitted with bicycles for their size.

Neither was present to claim their prize during the chief’s community event at Yours Truly restaurant.

Arbogast said he expects to pick up the event again in the fall.

“It’s been so successful dealing with the kids,” Arbogast said. “We were able to reach out to the kids. They were able to see us in a different light and see that we are real people. I’ve been getting a good response from people that don’t even have kids.”

Not only has the department hosted the “Meet the Chief” nights, police also have gone door-to-door to meet township residents and hand out surveys asking for feedback from the community.

Medina Township’s program is an outgrowth of the Ohio Collaborative Community-Police Advisory Board, which was created in 2015.

Gov. John Kasich said the purpose of the Ohio Collaborative was to strengthen relationships between law enforcement and communities and to address concerns about police accountability and the use of force, including deadly force, by police, especially in incidents involving minorities. Other police departments have created their own community outreach initiatives.

“I really enjoy interacting with my community,” Arbogast said.

Arno Kremer, general manager of Yours Truly, said the program has been well received.

“(Arbogast) had an impact on some of the kids,” he said. “There are ways to involve yourself in the community.

“He’s put some effort into this. He really enjoys this opportunity to deal with the kids. He’s a very generous man.”

Arbogast said he wants to add a bicycle patrol in the township, either later this year or in 2018. He said he hopes to add four bicycles, which cost about $2,000 apiece, by applying for grant to cover the cost.

Contact reporter Bob Finnan at (330) 721-4049 or rfinnan@medina-gazette.com.

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