COMMERCIAL POINT — With new directives being put out almost daily by the Ohio State government, families are finding it hard to make time for work and caring for their children. In the Village of Commercial Point, police officers are checking in on children while parents are at work.
With the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic seamlessly closing schools throughout the state, children have been left with unlimited free time. Parents on the other hand have been dealt a difficult hand as they now have to worry about childcare.
The Commercial Point Police Department and Police Chief Adam Jordan addressed the need by providing wellness checks on youth while parents are still working.
“We just thought it would be a good program to offer,” Jordan told The Circleville Herald. “I knew people would be concerned with having to balance going to work… along with making sure their kids are okay.”
The program started approximately a week ago after Ohio Governor Mike DeWine gave an executive order closing all schools in the state earlier this month. The order was announced after the first cases of COVID-19 were being reported.
The executive order was placed due to the high volume of gatherings that take place at schools. Initially, the governor stated that people should avoid crowds of 50 people or more. Now, 10 people in a room have been classified as a potential health hazard by the federal government due to the contagious spread of COVID-19.
With new directives being placed everyday, some parents still have to clock in if they are in the essential workforce. Jordan stated that roughly more than 50 percent of families are full-time and part-time workers in the Village. That is on average of four people per household, according to the police chief.
“Most households… mother and father… one works full time one works part time,” Jordan explained.
The Commercial Point Police Department has a total of seven officers working. Jordan further explained that officers would commit wellness checks in the community during regular patrolling times.
“While we are out regularly patrolling would be when we would do the check ups during the day,” Jordan commented.
The Chief added that his department has been getting good feedback from the community since starting the daily wellness checks for children. Based on social media posts, locals have been well receiving the department’s offer of wellness checks with children especially during the state’s health emergency.
The Commercial Point Police Department plans to continue the wellness checks.
“We would do it as long as needed… as long as feasible for department operations as well,” Jordan said.
The Village of New Holland is also doing wellness checks on not just youth but also the elderly. According to Police Chief Christopher Mosley, the Village police department started the wellness checks soon after the governor closed all schools.
“If anybody has any information and wants us to check on family members, we are willing to help in anyway we can,” Mosley said.