Chief of Police Eric Parker and Benton-Carroll-Salem School Resource Officer Dean Hammer presented three B-C-S students with Great Citizenship awards at a recent Oak Harbor Council meeting for their unsolicited volunteerism at the middle school basketball courts.
“The students recognized the Oak Harbor Middle School shed had been vandalized,” said Chief Parker, after an incident that occurred on school property. “They took it upon themselves to clean the area without being told. This was a great deed which other young citizens can emulate.”
Students Caleb Wolford (10), Keegan Garlock (8), and Christian Kimmet (7) often use the courts for pickup basketball games. Several weeks ago, they discovered trash strewn all around the shed and decided to deal with the situation on their own. For their efforts, the boys received an Oak Harbor Outstanding Service Award from to the community.
“We only live a couple of houses down from the Middle School,” said Bethany Paul, mother of Caleb and Keegan. “Water bottles and garbage were lying everywhere, not the nice, clean area we’re used to. Caleb goes to the Middle School and felt it wasn’t right.
“He went home to get some trash bags, and the boys walked the whole area, picked up the trash and put the basketballs up against the fence line.”
The school and Oak Harbor Police did not know about the young men’s impromptu aid until Paul posted it on social media, prompting SRO Officer Hammer to look into the incident. School security video showed not only the act of vandalism in progress, but the clean-up crew’s volunteerism to clear the mess created by other students.
Christian Kimmet’s mother Linda Brooks indicated she had no knowledge of the vandalism or that the boys had taken matters into their own hands until the police made her aware of the award they would receive at a June City Council meeting.
“It makes me feel better knowing that my boys are learning manners,” said Brooks. “Not only for people but the things around them.”
“Their actions may inspire others to do the same,” concluded Paul. “If you’re going to use something, respect the property. Leave it the way you found it and don’t destroy it.”
According to Chief Parker, the students who vandalized the school shed were seen on camera, identified and disciplined through the school. Anyone with information about vandalism or other questionable actions in the Oak Harbor area are encouraged to call the Oak Harbor Police Department’s non-emergency line, 419-898-2055. Located at 146 N. Church Street, the department observes regular business hours and is locked daily at 4:30 p.m.
For additional Village information, residents may visit the Facebook page, utilize the “Contact Us” form at oakharbor.oh.us, or call Oak Harbor Municipal Administrative Offices, 419-898-5561. Contact information for each council member is provided on the website, and Mayor Quinton Babcock may be reached at email@example.com. The Administrative Offices open 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., Monday – Friday.