The hurt and pain that has existed for generations as a result of systemic racism is much older, deeper, and entrenched than the elevated awareness brought about by the events of the past several weeks. The community conversation that has erupted is a powerful one, and it has forced us all to rethink old systems, assumptions, and ways of relating to each other. In the City of Bexley we’ve passed enhanced non-discrimination laws, launched welcoming initiatives, expanded training around implicit bias and sensitivity among our police force and staff, reformed police policies, created new police/community programming, made reforms to Mayor’s Court, among others. But what is clearer now more than ever is we need to do more. Over the next week and beyond, there will be several events, announcements, and conversations focused on issues of equity and inclusivity. We hope that you can join us in some or all of these, and help our community learn and grow through this time.
I don’t know how to put into words the emotions that overcame me upon watching, with abject horror, the actions of the police officers in Minneapolis. As officers of the law, we are charged with preserving peace and foregoing the use of force unless no other options are available to us. There is and never will be a situation where what happened to George Floyd in Minneapolis can be justified or understood to be anything other than the murder that it was.
And yet, this isn’t the first time that we’ve seen gross injustice carried out by the very men and women charged with keeping peace. Because of this, I know that there are generations of young men and women who are growing up with a fear of law enforcement that will impact our ability to build bridges to our communities for generations more to come.
The leadership of the Bexley Police Department, along with our elected leaders, have frequent dialogue about what our community is doing to eradicate bias in policing and to aspire to the highest standards of accountability and professionalism. The Bexley Police Department’s values of fairness, integrity, respect, and empathy are cast in stone and we live by those values every day. We specifically train to defuse tense situations and connect to our community, and we have increasingly trained around issues of implicit bias and sensitivity. The men and women of the Bexley Police Department categorically condemn any use of excessive or abusive force against any person regardless of the offense. This agency also condemns all enforcement, use of force, or simple disrespect directed towards someone because of their race, color, creed, religion, or sexual orientation. We condemn any form of biased policing and we mourn the death of George Floyd along with every other police officer that shares these same value systems. None of this means that we are perfect, or that there isn’t room for change and growth. Equally important to our culture is the ability to listen and to learn, and that is any area where there will likewise always be room for growth.
In today’s environment, the behavior of every police officer is under increased scrutiny, and we welcome that. We have continuously put the technology into place to be able to provide full records of all police interactions, and we believe that the most important tool to rebuilding trust is to consistently earn it. If you ever feel that you or someone you know has been the subject of police bias, we want to know about it so that we can look into it, let you know what we find, and make any changes that need to be made. You can reach out to Administrative Sergeant Dawn Overly at (614) 559-4444.
I know that, like me, the Bexley community’s heart is broken by the events of the past week, and that we stand in solidarity with all of our community in calling for peaceful, respectful, and persistent dialogue and meaningful change.
Chief Larry Rinehart
The Bexley Community Foundation recently awarded the Bexley Recreation and Parks Department a grant to restore the badly damaged Italian Marble Sculpture, Joyuese Rencontre (aka Little Boy & Turtle) to its original beauty after decades of hands-on admiration. Columbus Art Memorial, a trusted local memorial and art restoration company, will be repairing and bringing new life back to this landmark piece.
This Bexley Community Foundation grant will add to the monies raised earlier through a community, grassroots fundraiser in 2018 and the sale of Jeffrey Woods Calendars in 2019. Joyeuse Rencontre was created in Paris, France in 1912 by internationally recognized, Columbus eastside artist Mary (May) Elizabeth Cook, and eventually donated to the City of Bexley in the 50s.
On behalf of the Recreation Department, a sincere thanks to the amazing Bexley Community Foundation whose mission is to enhance the quality of life for our community by investing in initiatives that make a positive impact and also to those donors who supported this project and helped make it a reality. Thank you!
For the second time this spring, some residents in Bexley have had flooded basements. We are tracking basement flooding events in order to provide better service to you and analyze priority areas for system improvements. Please fill out the Basement Flood Form (link) if you have experienced flooding in your basement.
1. Why is this flooding happening?
There are two primary reasons that we have experienced two floods since March 20th. The first is due to our storm sewer system, which feeds into Alum Creek. The creek has reached a dangerously high level, therefore blocking any outflow drainage that could occur. The second issue we have is with the sanitary sewer system. We are connected to Columbus’s sewer system on all sides of Bexley, and the water that’s flooding the entire central Ohio region is draining into that same system. This water has no where to go.
2. What is the City doing about this long-term?
The City of Bexley is in the middle of a multi-million dollar sewer system upgrade project that has been going on for over a decade. This has included increases in storm sewer capacity, and relining and upgrading sanitary systems. Upgrades to our own system are still not able to handle the surge that has occurred in these two major flooding events, due to backups occurring in the Columbus system that we are connected to and serviced by. Bexley’s Administration is bringing a proposal to City Council to help fund sanitary sewer backflow prevention devices for properties that have experienced multiple flooding events.
3. What can I do?
If your basement has already flooded, clear the area of any items touching the basement floor. As water levels in the sewer system drain, the water in your basement will drain with it. If your basement has not flooded, but is prone to flooding, we recommend clearing that area ASAP. If you have experienced flooding in your basement, please fill out our Flood Report Form.
4. Can I use water?
It’s best if you avoid flushing toilets, running the dishwasher, or taking a shower for the time being. All of that water will drain into the same system that is already flooded. However, the water is safe to drink.
The Bexley Farmers Market is set to open its 10th season on Thursday, May 21, 2020 at 4:00 pm in a new – but temporary – location to accommodate for social distancing and other mitigation efforts as a result of COVID-19. This location, and the operational changes and rules, will be in effect through July 31.
The Bexley Farmers Market will temporarily relocate to the S2 parking lot on Capital University’s campus. Adjacent parking is available in the S3 lot – both labeled on this map. Both lots are located on Pleasant Ridge Avenue near the intersection with Astor Avenue.
If you choose to visit the Bexley Farmers Market, the market asks you to follow these strict, preventive measures to keep yourself, your farmers and food producers, and your community safe:
- If you feel ill or at all unwell, do not attend the market.
- Maintain the recommended 6’ social distancing from one another while at the market.
- Wear a cloth face covering as recommended by CDC guidelines.
- 4:00 – 4:30 pm is reserved for vulnerable populations including seniors and immunocompromised.
- During this time, the market encourages limited use of reusable grocery bags due to uncertainty surrounding surface contamination and life span of the virus. We recommend using plastic, disposable bags during COVID-19.
- Send only one member from each household to the market in order to curtail crowds.
- Recognize that the market is attempting to limit the number of people in the market space at one time. While you wait for entry, be respectful and allow for safe distancing between you and other customers.
- When possible, pre-order directly from farmers and food producers to limit the need to exchange currency onsite.
- No pets in the marketplace at this time.
- Do not linger or socialize. Purchase what you need and return to your home.
- Do not touch any products. When you have identified the product(s) you want to purchase, ask the farmer or food producer to collect and package the goods for you.
During COVID-19, the Bexley Farmers Market will look a little different. As part of our quest to be a food source for our community, we have also implemented the following changes, including, but not limited to:
- Limiting the sale of food to whole, uncut produce and packaged food items.
- No on-site food preparation or ready-to-eat foods.
- No sampling of any food is permitted.
- Limiting crowds by staggering entry to provide for social distancing of customers.
- Requiring space between vendor stands of at least 6 feet.
- Providing alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol for customers to use prior to entering market space and when exiting.
- Canceling all extracurricular activities including music, children’s activities, cooking demos, etc.
- Grouping like items together (ie. all produce, all bread and baked goods, etc.) to reduce the amount of time searching the market for particular products.
- Recommending using gloves appropriately as an additional tool.
- Discontinuing use of tablecloths and other porous materials such as baskets, pulp fiber fruit and vegetable containers.
The Bexley Farmers Market is open every Thursday from 4:00 – 7:00 pm starting May 21, 2020. During COVID-19 procedures, the market will reserve the 4:00 – 4:30 pm time for vulnerable populations including seniors and immunocompromised. More information regarding order ahead and on-site order pickup will be released in the coming days. Stay tuned!
Thank you, LBrands and BrewDog!
BrewDog and LBrands have graciously donated hand santizier to the Bexley Police Department. We thank them for this donation and for helping keep our officers safe!
The Bexley Police Department would like to thank the Bexley Community Foundation for awarding us a grant to purchase the MILO Training Simulator.
The MILO simulator provides realistic judgmental training, enhances situational awareness, and provides training on how an officer’s approach to an incident can escalate or deescalate a situation. The MILO will benefit the community by providing state of the art training to their police officers in addition to the education tool it will provide to individuals that participate in the Bexley Police Academy.
Officers Jonathan Byrd, Darren Briley, Justin Fleming and Kevin Schaefer completed a four day bike patrol course instructed by Sergeant Brent Otte. The officers were taught fundamental cycling skills, vehicular cycling, police and security training as well as a variety of biking techniques and handling.
Each officer will receive an International Police Mountain Bike Association (IPMBA) Cyclist Course Certification.
Find our new page on Facebook (Bexley Recreation at Home) for daily, weekly ideas, activities and ways to stay active!
The Bexley Recreation and Parks Department has created the facebook group – Bexley Recreation at Home, where staff will post a variety of program content and ideas. Content will include video of classes from your favorite instructor, games and art projects you can do from home, challenges, and more. In addition to Recreation content that will be posted, the community/families can share different games, activities and projects they have done at home. The “Bexley Recreation at Home” Facebook group is all about staying active, creative, and connected!