Montpelier Police Chief Dan McGee was the guest speaker for the general meeting of CHWC-Montpelier Hospital Auxiliary Monday, Jan. 9th at 1:00 p.m. in the hospital conference room. Chief McGee has served 20 years as a police officer and is in his fourth year as chief of the police department.
Montpelier is a unique village in the middle of Williams County and has many low-income families. All village officers continually work hard to keep the town’s residents safe and the police department receives positive support and outreach from the community.
Problems affecting the community stem from the drug trade emanating from larger cities like Toledo, Fort Wayne and Lima. The biggest drug problem is heroin, sometimes laced with fentanyl, with small amounts causing overdose in users. Taking drugs is a choice at first and quickly becomes an addiction. Sometimes it begins with using and/or selling pain medications found in the home prescribed for other family members.
The police department participates in Project Dawn, sponsored by the Williams County Health Department. Police officers carry special treatment kits costing $75 each with drug overdose medication to save lives. In 2016 Ohio’s drug overdose law became effective where a user who overdoses will receive two free treatments before facing criminal prosecution in court.
Law enforcement officers conducting drug searches in homes often find children residing there. Chief McGee noted that there has been an increase in search warrants. Tracking illegal drugs can be very difficult with perpetrators “border-hopping” into Indiana and Michigan. An upcoming Community Town Hall event is being scheduled for open discussion on drug problems in the area. Details and scheduled date will be announced.
Locally, an Alert Team Vehicle responds to more critical situations with a mobile command post, special equipment transport, search and rescue capabilities, cameras, access through the internet, utilization of local maps, and use as a command post for weather emergencies. Last May the department participated in a natural disaster drill. Chief McGee also conducts free self-defense classes for women, usually held at the park.
The Montpelier Police Department is also involved in a community project to provide “E-Sight” technology using a high definition video camera “glasses” to provide 20/20 vision to individuals severely visually-impaired. Two local youth are currently working with this project which costs approximately $15,000 each. One met his goal just before Christmas and the other youth still needs $5,000 to complete her goal, hopefully by Valentine’s Day. The department has reached out to the community to assist in this project and welcomes any additional donations.
Following the guest speaker, Auxiliary President Armeda Sawmiller conducted the business portion of the meeting, leading the members with the Auxiliary Prayer. Roll call was answered with: “When you were young, what is something you remember getting in trouble for?”.
Thought for the day was “A New Year’s resolution is something that goes in one year and out the other” (author unknown).
Following the secretary’s minutes and treasurer’s report, various committees also gave reports. Jan Follett was thanked for taking care of January hospital patient favors. Volunteers helping at the hospital gift shop were thanked and some time slots still need to be filled.
The next regular auxiliary meeting is scheduled Monday, Feb. 13th at 1:00 p.m. in the hospital conference room. Guest speaker will be Paula Peffley of Helping Hands Food Pantry in Montpelier. Roll call will be “How have you given special help in your life?”. Members are reminded to bring a recipe and donation for the Bakeless Bake Sale and a Valentine card for a card shower for hospital patients. Dorothy Briner will be in charge of February patient favors. Guests are welcome to attend.