By Chris Ramos
Editor’s note: Chris is currently a student at Kent State University, This article is a final project for his Multimedia Tech class.
Known as the “Crossroads of Northeast Ohio”, the city of Macedonia continues to blossom with each passing year. With new businesses entering the commercial area known as “The Commons”, and with a population exceeding over 11,000 people, the city has most certainly come a long way from its days as a steadfast farm town.
As a city continues to grow, so do the responsibilities of its citizens and safety forces.
As Chief of Police for The Macedonia Police Department, Jon Golden and his nineteen sworn officers live to protect and serve. The police department also houses a full-time Detective Bureau.
“We’re blessed to have a strong support from the community” says Jon Golden.
Fortunately for the officers of Macedonia, the city is relatively quiet. As they patrol the streets, and keep watch, they don’t run into too much trouble.
Recently, the times have proved to be a bit more turbulent than usual.
Last month, a massive storm tore apart many Northeast Ohio communities as severe winds roared and pummeled. Macedonia was included within that list of ill-fated areas, as power lines became blockades and the durability of houses were put to the test. Many local businesses found windows being blown out, while some residents experienced trees striking down upon their homes (drivers also found themselves as a victim of toppling timber). The police department became a hotspot of concern, as countless worried locals phoned in with inquiry about when their power would return. The officers could provide no definitive answer, as they could only help their fellow safety forces clean the debris and navigate folks to safety.
Coupled with this misfortune, Macedonia police officers now have their eyes fixated upon a smash and grab incident that occurred in the early morning of December 4th. The crime is still under investigation.
Investigations aren’t as easy as CSI may showcase. Chief Golden emphasized the fact that at the end of the day, there are rules and laws to follow. They must keep an open mind, not ruling out any possibility until definitive evidence is acquired. It’s not easy, and ultimately, it adds a whole another dynamic to his job.
Don’t think that this deters the department’s high spirits, however.
Whether it be their involvement in food donations for the Emergency Assistance Center, their involvement in the safety fair, their visits to the local schools, or their participation in the holiday event “Shop with A Cop”, the Macedonia Police Department strives to radiate a positive reputation within the city.
When asked about the most rewarding experience that stems from his duty, Chief Golden stated:
“Just knowing that people are safe here because of the work we do. It’s a safe community. People can live their lives, and not have to live in fear.”
Due to Macedonia being in such close proximity with the Sagamore Hills and Northfield Village townships, the Macedonia Police Department keeps in consistent contact with their neighboring forces. It also helps that a Summit County Sheriff station is located in Northfield Center.
There are times when the departments will provide mutual aid for one another, but for the most part, they are more than capable of holding their own ground.
Officers find themselves up against another force in today’s times, however. As countless videos of police confrontations gone wrong surface the news and social media (many of which depict a violent atmosphere that often times end fatally), police officers find themselves and the manner in which they conduct themselves under a microscope. Are they actually concerned with our well-being? Should we trust them? Are they abusing their power? Are they racially indifferent? These are some of the questions that have surfaced regarding the misfortunes of these shocking escalations between officers and suspects. To these media narratives, Chief Golden replied with:
“It’s a very difficult job. I think if people just listened to the instructions given by an officer, everything will go fine. But, when they want to argue, debate and move around suddenly, then problems arise. That police officer wants to go home at the end of the night, and keep in mind, that police officer does not know you. Therefore, when you move suddenly and disrespect an officer’s order, bad things happen unfortunately.”
Jon Golden has been Chief of Police since 2002, and will strive to maintain a safe environment within Macedonia as the times usher in plenty of change.