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The latest from one of Wellsville’s cornerstone civic groups include a presentation by Chief of Police Timothy O’Grady

From the Monday Club, 11/3/21

In recent weeks, The Monday Club has enjoyed three more excellent speakers, an artist, a teacher, and Wellsville’s Chief of Police.  On October 18th, Wanda Dean shared examples of her art work, and  told of  many teachers, and years of study that encouraged her creative growth as an artist.  She studied with Katherine Nelson,  took classes and workshops at RIT, Corning, and St. Bonaventure,  learned the process of creating and arriving at finished work. It continues to be her passion to find and paint scenes with  woods, farms, and landscapes, often working in beautiful golds and yellows that express the natural beauty of this area. She shared a slide show of  work she has created and answered member’s questions.   

On October 25, educator Lisa Miller described her curriculum and work in Different Learning Styles.  They have a much different set of goals from the regular classroom, for students with practical life skill needs.  A comprehensive program of study has been developed and the handbook was shared with members.  Goals include  Life Skills, Independent Living Skills, preparing for a job.  These  include money management, food management and cooking skills, personal hygiene, housekeeping, time management, transportation, community resources.  A few examples include laundry, banking and managing checking and credit, reading bills, time cards, recipes,  showing up on time, child care and parenting.  The list was extensive and detailed, filled  very specific needs.  A motto that was shared: ” Don’t quit until you’re proud!”  The classroom ratio is 12 to 1, currently 8 to 1.  It serves students from 9th to 12th grades. 

Last Monday, Wellsville Police Chief, Tim O’Grady, shared History and challenges in his presentation, noting this is the 150th Anniversary of our Police Department.  He gave a brief resume of his training and experience, then added highlights of Wellsville’s changes:   

In 1870-72, with a population of 2034, there were Police Constables.  By 1880-90, population grew to 3435, and there were 55 saloons. By 1898 the Speed Limit was 8 miles per hour.  1900 brought brick paving along Main St. By 1920, population grew to 4996.  In 1937, the first police car was acquired.  In 1946 the Police Department was moved to City  Hall (then located in the middle of what is now Madison Street and Main.), and in 1953, that building burned down. Police Department then moved to the Community Center on Park Avenue,  which was later destroyed by the 1972 flood.  In 2000 the population was 5171, and by 2019, decreased to 4375.   

The current police department has 18 officers, which includes the Chief, School Resource Officer, nine full time and 7 part time members.  Chief O’Grady noted that in recent years, there are many repeated calls to the same addresses for the same people, related to drug offences, and mental health situations.    He noted  immediate challenges include Bail Reform,  Illegal Drug activities, Mental Health emergencies, and also Marijuana Legalization.  The Chief brought a variety of materials for Monday Club members to take, concerning identity theft, scams, elder abuse,  and internet safety. The program was informative and appreciated by members.

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