Greenfield Police Chief Jeremiah Oyer was honored as grand marshal of the Greene Countrie Towne Festival parade in recognition of his outstanding efforts to make Greenfield a more peaceful and drug-free community.
GPD chief honored as festival grand marshal
Greenfield’s police chief may not have been looking for kudos, but he got them anyway from the Greenfield Rotary Club as Greenfield Police Chief Jeremiah Oyer was named 2021 grand marshal for the Greene Countrie Towne Festival Parade that took place July 18. While Oyer was unable to actually be present for the parade, the Rotary Club decided to honor him anyway because the recognition was well-deserved. Club members felt that the honor was appropriate in large part because of the department’s ongoing efforts under his leadership that resultin drug arrests and subsequent indictments.
Oyer has been with the Greenfield Police Department for more than twenty years, and he follows in the footsteps of other family members that have also served in the department: a grandfather, his father, his brother and an uncle. And while he never aspired to be chief, he finds himself in a position that he not only loves, but that allows him to serve the community he loves in the greatest capacity.
The bottom line for Oyer and the officers that serve under him is to work hard every day to keep Greenfield safe for the citizens that call it home.
A large focus of the police department has been eradicating drugs as much as possible. While Oyer admits complete eradication will likely never be achieved anywhere, the work GPD puts in every day goes a long way to making drug’s place in the community much more fragile.
One way the department is tackling drugs is by going after the dealers, he said, and going after them “hard.” Additionally, he said the department takes a proactive approach by not waiting for calls to come in, but being out in the community to patrol and observe, essentially heading the crimes off at the pass.
“We’ll never get rid of all the dope,” he said, “but we sure can make it harder to get.”
While a big focus of the department's efforts to erase drugs and drug-related crimes, there are many other aspects to the department as well.
Monthly, a report is compiled by the chief and presented to council. It provides detailed statistics tracking the activity of the department which are compared with previous years. Oyer has also started adding a component to the reports that show grand jury indictments that have come from arrests made in the village.
And the chief’s approach, too, is one of support, not only to the community, but to the officers. Instead of spending all his time in the office, he routinely assists other officers, and is also at the ready should a K-9 be needed. There are currently two K-9s in the department, and one of them is his dog. If the other K-9 is unavailable, Oyer brings in K-9 Rony, who the chief has been the handler of for many years.
In building the police team that works to ensure Greenfield’s safety, Oyer said he tries to evaluate the officers to determine their strongpoints, and then makes sure officers receive training in those areas as well as assignments to the areas where they are best suited based on those strongpoints.
Police work, he said, “is my passion.” And every day he is looking for ways for the department to best serve the village of Greenfield and its citizens.
Oyer, who said he was surprised and humbled to be recognized by the Rotary Club, said he doesn’t ever strive to be recognized. While he truly appreciates all the recognitions that have come through the years, his only goal every day is to serve Greenfield, “to keep it safe for our kids and our community. “I am very grateful for the support of the community. I am very grateful for the support of the administration and council,” he said. “Without all that support, we couldn’t do what we do every day.”
To keep up with announcements and information, go to the Greenfield Police Department Facebook page. For Greenfield news and information, go to the Village of Greenfield, Ohio Facebook page the village's website, greenfieldohio.net.
The 2021 Greene Countrie Towne Festival took place July 16-18 in downtown Greenfield.
2021 Greene Countrie Towne Festival wraps up under sunny skies
The 2021 Greene Countrie Towne Festival brought back live entertainment, food and fun after an absence caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Although activities were scaled back from past years, just having the festival was a positive sign that things are gradually returning to normal. The people who attended seemed to enjoy a chance to visit with friends they may not have seen for a year or two, as the last Greene Countrie Towne Festival took place in 2019. Once the pandemic became news in March of 2020, many area residents stayed home except for medical appointments and essential shopping. “It was good to see people back on the streets of Greenfield, enjoying festival food like elephant ears and lemon shakeups and visiting with friends,” said Greenfield Rotary President Wes Surritt. “The live entertainment seemed to be appreciated by those who came out over the weekend, and after a bit of a wet start on Friday the weather turned out really well.” The activities got under way Thursday, July 16 with the Miss Greene Countrie Towne Festival Queen Pageant at the McClain High School auditorium. There, Jacolyn Bolender was crowed to reign over the festival activities and represent the festival at other events around the state in the coming year. Queen Jacolyn’s court includes 1st Attendant Alyson Murphy, 2nd Attendant Khadijah Coleman and 3rd Attendant Peyton Black. The Prince, Princess, Little Miss and Junior Miss contest took place on the festival stage Friday evening, shortly after President Surritt gave opening remarks to kick off the downtown festivities. Sean Poole and Buckin’ Crazy provided Friday night’s musical entertainment with a nice variety of country music. Some great food was available from the Greenfield Tractor Club, which also provided a kiddie tractor pull and a petting zoo. Longtime festival supporter Gaylord Otterbacher brought his B&G Enterprises food and drink units to town to serve hot fries, cold drinks and other delicious festival food. Edgewood Manor’s Baby Contest kicked off the Saturday morning activities, and many antique and classic cars made their way to S. Washington St. for the Greenfield Antique Car Club’s 53rd annual car and truck show. Meanwhile, in the 400 block of Jefferson St., several antique tractors took their places as enthusiasts gathered to admire the classic pieces of farm machinery. Saturday afternoon, Gary Binegar of Binegar Auction Service began taking bids at the annual Rotary auction, which featured 10 limited edition prints by local artist Tammy Wells, as well as numerous concert and event tickets, recreational and household items. Once again, the items brought good prices – especially the Wells prints – and the proceeds will help the Greenfield Rotary Club with its community projects throughout the year. This year more than $15,000 was raised at the auction. A queen’s luncheon at the MHS cafetorium took place Saturday as many visiting queens representing other festivals were honored and took part in a parade. Later the queens took to the stage to promote their respective communities and provide information about their festivals. As Rotarians checked the weather radar on their phones, the cloudy skies began to clear and Saturday evening turned into a perfect setting for some live music. The band Blue Steel provided plenty of that, and entertained festival-goers well into Saturday night with a variety of classic rock and country hits. Clear weather continued on Sunday as the Seven Mile Bluegrass band took the stage from noon to 2 p.m. Meanwhile, at McClain High School, approximately 100 people gathered for the Edward Lee McClain Day observance honoring the philanthropist who gave the community a high school unlike any other. Superintendent Quincey Gray welcomed the crowd and showed a document from 1893 that indicated even then, Mr. McClain was considering building a high school for his hometown. Some ideas in the publication seemed similar to what was done in Greenfield, but as Supt. Gray noted, they were on a much smaller scale. She said Mr. McClain was thinking on a much grander scale, and the art-filled high school and quality materials used provide proof that Mr. McClain was thinking big when it came to his community. MHS grad and former city manager Ron Coffey read a proclamation from the Greenfield Village Council proclaiming Edward Lee McClain Day, and introduced “Mr. McClain” who was portrayed by Danny Long, to talk about his vision for the school. Larry “Rock” Roosa, who first proposed the idea of having an Edward Lee McClain Day, also spoke about how his life was influenced by his days at MHS. The school was open for guided, and self-guided, tours as visitors got to see the murals, statues, paintings, friezes and decorative tile that make MHS so unique. The McClain High School Marching Band helped lead the festival parade from Edgewood Ave. to downtown Greenfield, followed by the queen and her court on a float, and many other units including sports teams, youth groups, antique cars, tractors and emergency vehicles. Rotarian Pat Hays announced each entry as it passed by the stage. Capping off the Sunday events was the Modern Movement Dance Company, showcasing the dance moves and beautiful costumes of dancers from pre-school to college age in a variety of routines. “We are grateful to all the performers and exhibitors who took part in the 2021 Greene Countrie Towne Festival, and to everyone who supported the festival in any way,” Wes Surritt said. He noted that the pandemic had a significant impact on vendors who have frequented the Greene Countrie Towne Festival in the past. Some were unable to make a go of it as practically every festival and fair cancelled activities in 2020 and many events in 2021 remained in limbo. The Greenfield Rotary Club was unable to find a company that could provide carnival rides, and the number of vendors was much smaller in 2021. However, the outlook for 2022 is much better, and already a company has been booked to provide carnival rides at the Greene Countrie Towne Festival. “Everything we are seeing points to a much bigger festival in 2022, which seems appropriate as Greenfield Rotary Club will be observing its centennial next year,” Wes Surritt said. “We are already making plans and hope for a wonderful celebration of our club’s 100th birthday in 2022.” Festival dates for next year will be July 15-17, 2022.
Greene Countrie Towne Festival July 15-16-17, 2022 Third weekend of July
Sponsored by the Greenfield Rotary Club
Visit the Greene Countrie Towne Festival Facebook page! For the latest information about the festival in Greenfield, visit the Greene Countrie Towne Festival Facebook page by clicking on the button below. Hope to see you downtown on the third weekend of July!