Athens Joint Police Services Council Holds Inaugural Meeting

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The city of Athens and the Ohio University community now have a collaborative group of Athens residents and police officers looking out for their safety.

Law enforcement and community members came together last night at the first meeting of the Joint Police Services Council.  
Held at the Athens Community Center, the members of the council focused on how future meetings would proceed and some of the group's goals, especially when it comes to matters that affect the city and university community.  
Athens Police Chief Tom Pyle and OU Police Chief Andrew Powers were both present.  
Pyle explained the idea that he originally had in mind for the group. "When we had first brainstormed this idea, I saw this group as a formalization of the police-community dialogue input process, that it was kind of an extension," said Pyle.
Powers says the potential power of the group is immense. "We can do so much as police saying "Lock your doors, don't walk alone," all that sort of thing," said Powers. "But it really has more of an impact when it's coming from peers.  When individuals are talking to their neighbors and talking to fellow students and things like that, and so that's something else that we really look to this group to be able to do is help us figure out the most effective way of communicating this information so that it has the greatest impact."
The council is made up of Pyle, Powers, and several individuals chosen by Athens Mayor Paul Wiehl and OU President Roderick McDavis.  
Pyle expressed his feelings about the group no longer being just an idea. "We're a police department for the community, not of or upon the community.  And I've always taken that approach in my law enforcement career.  And so for me, it's just really, for lack of a better term, joyous, to get to formalize that and see this group stood up and make it reality," said Pyle.
The council also discussed the possibility of getting a police cruiser that represents the group.