By Dustin Ensinger
The Reynoldsburg Division of Police plans to open its doors to the entire community.
The department will hold an open house from 1-4 p.m. on May 3 at its headquarters, located at 7240 E. Main St.
The event is the first of its kind for the department.
“This has not been an annual event in the past, but if it’s well received, we may start to approach it as something we do every year,” said Reynoldsburg Police Chief Jim O’Neill.
The event will feature activities for residents of all ages and throughout the day, tours of the department will be provided.
The nation’s largest child identification program, Ident-A-Kid, will be on hand to provide identification services to children.
The Reynoldsburg Parks and Recreation Department will feature an art show in the lobby of City Hall.
The Columbus Division of Police will land a helicopter at the department at 2 p.m.
Several of the department’s specialized units will be on hand, including the SWAT team, the Detective Bureau, the Motorcycle Unit and the Bike Patrol.
“We try to vary the subject matter we put on display in such a way as to provide everyone with something they are interested in,” O’Neill said. “Crowd favorites usually include the demonstration and displays by our motorcycle unit and SWAT team and the Columbus PD helicopter.”
O’Neill said the event is an opportunity for the community to interact with its police department outside the constraints of a law enforcement situation, such as a traffic stop.
“The overall purpose of the event is to give the community a chance not only to see all the things we do as part of our daily routine, but to approach and spend time with our officers on a personal level,” O’Neill said. “Whenever our officers can interact with the community in an environment outside of a strict law enforcement situation, I feel both sides can start to better understand the other. This open house provides us with just such an opportunity.”
O’Neill said the event will also give him and his officers a chance to get feedback from the community they serve.
“I personally like the opportunity to speak with members of the community and get their feedback about our department,” he said.
The department will also collect canned goods to donate to the Reynoldsburg Helping Hands and Heart food pantries.
“I would encourage everyone to come and see how we are working to better understand and serve the members of our community,” O’Neill said.