This year the fire equipment will provide a more secure blockade to motorized traffic, and the hope is the event will be as fun and “family-friendly” as it always has been, said Police Chief Brian Carlson. “We want to bring back the way it used to feel for everybody,” Carlson said. “Last year was kind of a fluke.”
Last year as people continued to celebrate after the ball drop, a near riot ensued as police attempted to clear the streets using cruisers, sirens and Tasers.
Yellow Springs resident Dave Chappelle spoke at the meeting.
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The incident drew harsh criticism from residents, who attended village council meetings by the dozens in an effort to push for a change in policing procedures.
Change came swiftly, as then Police Chief David Hale resigned his post within days in an effort to “heal the rift” that developed between the community and its residents. Carlson was subsequently named interim chief and was made permanent for the position months later.
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Two police officers who were working that night are no longer employed by the village. Officer Allison Saurber resigned her position in February, citing differences of opinion on police procedures, and Officer R.J. Hawley’s employment ended with a separation agreement in May.