By: Emily Guiles
Recently MLive and Muskegon chronicle celebrated their 156 years of journalistic presence, along with 103.7 the beat. This celebration took place at Marsh field and had a great turn out. The City of Muskegon Police and Fire department were there along with EMS. The vehicles were open to the kids to explore and they were encouraged to meet and talk with the officers present to ensure that they felt comfortable around them, which was the main point of having them present.
Among the officers and firemen there was Muskegon Heights Police Chief Lynn Gill, Muskegon Police chief Lewis, along with Muskegon Mayor Gawron and Muskegon Heights Mayor Paige.
Paige said that the Watch Muskegon Go campaign has largely involved the Muskegon Heights community and he hopes that they continue to work together to rebuild the reputation affiliated with Muskegon and Muskegon Heights. In his speech Paige reiterated that Muskegon and Muskegon Heights are friends, and reassured the public that the officers are here for them, and it is the duty of the community including the officers to make sure that the kids are not afraid of them. Paige was very happy to see such a great turn out, especially with how many kids attended the event. Paige commented that negative news sells and the good things officers do rarely make it into the news, which is why children today are being brought up to fear police officers.
Mayor Gawron also spoke at the event and wanted to point out the large amount of hard work that was put in by everyone involved in order to put on this event, he was very thankful of everyone’s support. Gawron also went on to announce the next session for the police academy is coming up and he hopes to see a good turn out this coming session, and encouraged everyone to get in touch with their community through their individual neighborhood associations. Gawron believes that everyone getting involved with their personal communities is the best way for Muskegon and Muskegon Heights as a whole to pull together.
Muskegon Police Chief Lewis reiterated that all the police force asks is for citizens to communicate and cooperate with the force in order to keep the community safe. Lewis also announced that the summer rec program will be open four nights a week, and the police officers will be giving kids tickets for good behavior instead of bad in order to create trust between the two.
Greg Bordman, who is president of the Collective Neighborhood Association (NAM) also spoke and urged everyone to join their own neighborhood association. The neighborhood association that needs the most help is East Muskegon. Bordman hopes that this will help all citizens of Muskegon County to empower one another to become better citizens.