BY D’ARCY EGAN
When it comes to crime, and ways to thwart the bad guys, Mel McCord has found a way to keep his friends and neighbors safe in recent years. McCord has been hosting monthly Community Township Crime Watch meetings, and many of the experts McCord has recruited as monthly speakers have made a difference.
On Thursday evening, over cups of coffee and plenty of delicious ribs, McCord took time out to honor his army of experts. From veteran police officers to experts of opioid abuse, phone scams and highway hijinks, all were grateful for Crime Watch invitations to keep the public informed.
“I was honored to receive this award tonight,” said Judge Bruce Winters of the Ottawa County Common Pleas Court. “Mel McCord and the Community Crime Watch meet the first Thursday each month and host dinner and a program focused on crime prevention.
“Speakers include law enforcement officers, bankers, judges, prosecutors and even Dick Eppstein of the Better Business Bureau. Neighbors connect and discuss community issues. It’s a great program and I wish more communities would have similar gatherings.”
Winters point out that the Crime Watch sessions welcome everyone, not just Bay Township residents. He encouraged everyone to visit the Bay Township Hall for one of the monthly meetings on West Fremont Rd. (Route 53).
McCord knows his group is making a difference.
“We hand out a lot of our ‘We Are a Crime Watch Community’ stickers, and it makes a difference,” said McCord. “The crooks stay away.”
The tales of the Crime Watch program have been spreading, and other communities are looking to start their own Crime Watch meetings.
“It’s a great concept for the community,” said Judge Fritz Hany III of Ottawa County Municipal Court. “It is a way for the communities to make alliances, to learn how to spot a scam and to get to know their law enforcement folks.”
Crime Watch Honors List
Ottawa County Sheriff Stephen J. Levorcheck
Joel Barton and Matt Gandee, OCDTF
Kent Jeffries, Ohio Highway Patrol
Capt. Scott Frank, Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office
Trish McCartney, State Farm Insurance
Editor D’Arcy Egan, The Beacon
Christine K. Galvan/Beth Gillman, United Way
Chief Kent Johnson, Port Clinton Fire Department
Daniel J. Sheehan, U.S. Customs and Border Protection
Joseph Harvey, CCW Specialist
Lesha Maria Cuttaia, Addiction Expert
Matt Shark and Diesel, Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office
Steve Gilkerson and Raider, Woodville Police Department
Capt. Zack Boling, Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office
James Reagan, Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office
Mark Nei and Nero, Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office
Magistrate Louis P. Wargo III, Ottawa County Municipal Court
David R. Boldt court administrator
James VanEerten, Ottawa County Prosecutor
Mark Mulligan, Sandusky County Assistant Prosecutor
Dick Eppstein Toledo Better Business Bureau
Judge Bruce Winters, Ottawa County Common Pleas Court
Chief Dave Regal, Bay Twp. Fire Department
Art Castillo, Bay Township Trustee
Denton Glovinski, Bay Township Trustee
Ben Peterson, Bay Township Trustee
Trooper Carl Gutman, Ohio Highway Patrol
Sgt. Jeff Case, Ohio Highway Patrol
Executive Director Kenn Bower, Lighthouse Sober Living
ME2 Curtice Bethia, U.S. Coast Guard
Judge Fredrick “Fritz” Haney III, Ottawa County Municipal Court
Emily Burnworth, Commodore Perry Credit Union