A SIGN OF GOOD­WILL

Lo­cal res­i­dent starts project sup­port­ing West Ch­ester po­lice

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - FRONT PAGE - By Adam Farence afarence@21st-cen­tu­ry­media.com @afarence on Twit­ter

WEST CH­ESTER >> In at­tempt to push back against the harsh na­tional spot­light cur­rently cast on po­lice de­part­ments across the na­tion, a West Ch­ester public works em­ployee took it upon him­self to hand out signs read­ing: “We sup­port West Ch­ester po­lice.”

Gil Robin­son has driven garbage trucks for the bor­ough for over 17 years after he re­tired from the Air Na­tional Guard. He said he started hand­ing out signs to help bring the com­mu­nity to­gether, and to bring ap­pre­ci­a­tion to the po­lice for the work they do.

“You go to work, you never know what’s in front of you,” he said ref­er­enc­ing the po­ten­tial dan­gers po­lice of­fi­cers face. “They take on a real heavy job.

Robin­son started hand­ing out signs in early July, after talk­ing with West Ch­ester Po­lice Chief Scott Bohn be­fore­hand.

“I thought it was a won­der­ful thing,” Bohn said about Robin­son ask­ing him about the project. “We’ve re­ceived a tremen­dous amount of sup­port from the com­mu­nity.”

Bohn of­fered to help him out fi­nan­cially, but Robin­son turned him down.

“It’s a tes­ta­ment to him as a ci­ti­zen,” Bohn said.

Bohn said he’s been asked sev­eral times by other po­lice de­part­ments if the signs were a project the West Ch­ester Po­lice Depart­ment started, and they are im­pressed when they

learn a ci­ti­zen started the pro­gram.

Robin­son said the re­sponse has been pos­i­tive, so much that he’s had to or­der more signs. He said he started out with 100, and after he handed all those out, he or­dered another 100. He’s handed out a lit­tle over 150 signs paid for with his own money.

Home­own­ers and busi­ness own­ers alike have asked for and dis­played them.

“We have them in all four cor­ners of the bor­ough,” he said.

Orig­i­nally, he started hand­ing them out him­self. But since lo­cal res­i­dents then started show­ing up at the po­lice sta­tion ask­ing for them, now res­i­dents can pick up a sign there, too.

In ad­di­tion to openly dis­play­ing sup­port for the po­lice, he said he also wants to help bring the com­mu­nity to­gether, and that neigh­bors have asked other neigh­bors where they could get one for their yard.

“Peo­ple feel good about our po­lice of­fi­cers,” he said. “They take on a real heavy job.”

ADAM FARENCE — DIGITAL FIRST ME­DIA

Gil Robin­son started this pro­gram in late Au­gust. Here, he is stand­ing with West Ch­ester po­lice of­fi­cers Jerry Fer­riola and Henry Hague.

ADAM FARENCE — DIGITAL FIRST ME­DIA

Gil Robin­son, a West Ch­ester public works em­ployee, has handed out more than 100 signs read­ing: “We sup­port West Ch­ester po­lice.”

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