OSCODA – The Oscoda Township Police Department welcomes Danny Gallahar as the Community Resource Officer.
Formerly Gallahar worked as a medical first responder and EMT basic for Oscoda Area EMS, as a 911 emergency dispatcher and most recently a field training officer in 2017. He has worked with the department since August 2012, but recently took on a new role on May 2.
Unlike the typical reasons locals would call the police for assistance on a issue, Gallahar said a Community Resource Officer is someone out in the community that you can use as a resource for personal or business issues.
“Stuff that people may not traditionally want to contact the police or dial 911. We’re giving them an outreach an opportunity to talk to us and maybe we can help them with some of their problems, some of their issues and then just to kind of integrate with the community and let them know that we’re here for them and able to work with them on a more personal level than perhaps what they are normally used to,” said Gallahar.
An issue that Gallahar recently said was a big problem for local businesses is illegal dumping causing locals to pay overage fees for their trash.
“As I go throughout the community and talk to these businesses all of them are expressing it week after week after week to the point that they are paying more for garbage service because of the overages from people illegally dumping and they just didn’t want to bring it to our attention,” said Gallahar.
He said now being in this position he will be able to address the issue and hopefully come to a resolution. Additionally, he said he can assist with issues in regards to customers causing issues for a business. Currently Gallahar said he is attempting to visit every business, gather contact information and hear business owners concerns. He said further that he is taking his time with each business and if he has yet to pay you a visit he will do so soon.
In addition to being a resource to community members, Gallahar will also be working in Oscoda Area Schools as the School Resource Officer. In the school setting, Gallahar said he hopes to build connections with students, so they can freely come to him when they are having issues and provide education to students, parents and administrative staff.
“A lot of what I hope to do is just kind of an intervening not necessarily be active as a legal system police kind of issue as much as intervene and see if we can come to a resolution before something gets to that point. One thing I’ll be doing is I’ll be interacting with the kids, trying to build those bonds and create those relationships,” said Gallahar.
Additionally Gallahar said what he believes what positive characteristics he brings to the position.
“I think I bring a ability to talk to people and communicate with people and just generally want to get out there and be part of my community. I just want to bring as much into the community as much really making the community know that I am a resource for them,” said Gallahar. I do believe it’s a great asset to the community to have this position.
Gallahar said he hopes that he can show community members that he is a resource more than an enforcement officer.
“People can be reluctant sometimes to call. They view us as enforcement and that connotation typically has a negative effect and I’m trying to change some of that. There is a positive in what we do for our community and through those connections to create a better environment, a better community,” said Gallahar.
According to Gallahar, there hasn’t been a Community Resource Officer serving Oscoda and AuSable townships for many years, so the department is excited for what is to come of the position.
“As a township we’re really excited about where this position is going and what it means for our community,” said Gallahar.
For those wishing to reach Gallahar on Monday-Friday at 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. contact him at 989-260-2008 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Due to the position, Gallahar said that times will vary because of community events, but he said he will primarily take calls during that time. Additionally any individual, group or organization interested in a public safety presentation is encouraged to call him.