Civic Facebook Battle in West Jefferson


Down in West Jefferson, Ohio — about 25 minutes due West of Columbus — police chief Terry Ward has been ordered by city council and the mayor to take down a community Facebook page which reported daily crime activity, via the Columbus Dispatch.

According to Ward, the page served as an effective tip generator and public relations tool. Residents are confused and annoyed by the mandate, but council claims the social media page is in violation of Madison County web policies (which it is not).

Ward was all: "[This] was really the first time this department has done something to better connect with the community.”

But Mayor Darlene "Don't Call me Danielle" Steele was worried more about citizen commenters than Ward's posts. She was like: "I don’t want exaggerations about our crime that will alarm the public. If you have a comment, call me, call the chief or visit council. We’ll address it.”

To which Ward rolled his eyes and coughed 'bullshit' : "Maybe they think if we don’t talk about crime, people won’t think we have any."


Naturally, the community's on Ward's side — can you even imagine living in harmony and unity with your city's Chief of Police? Residents plan to protest at the West Jefferson city council meeting tonight and urge council members to reconsider their decision.

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Sam Allard

Sam Allard is the Senior Writer at Scene, in which capacity he covers politics and power and writes about movies when time permits. He's a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University and the NEOMFA at Cleveland State. Prior to joining Scene, he was encamped in Sarajevo, Bosnia, on an...
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