Westlake police roll out welcome mat

When I moved to Westlake from Cleveland in 2011 I couldn't help but notice Rocky River Police at the Hilliard exit almost on a daily basis. This was a concern. Was the Westlake Police Department similarly an adjunct to the treasury, a cash-cow for the mayor's court? We would soon find out.

In 2020 my wife and I celebrated 44 years of marriage. Many things keep us together but taste in movies isn't one of them. But I'm a trouper and I guess it could be said I'd follow her anywhere so I always accompany her to "her" movies. But there are consequences! I'm still being pilloried some 10 years later for sleeping through the movie "Avatar." To her it was a near-religious experience, to me it was a three-hour nap.

The AMC chain had recently installed recliner chairs in their theaters and we loved them. So one evening of our new life in Westlake we ventured to the Westwood AMC to see a movie and I saw further signs of AMC's genius. They added a bar so now I can grab a glass of wine to enjoy with my movie. However, still stinging from my "Avatar" fiasco, I opted for a coffee drink instead. No need to give her any fresh ammunition.

We had a pleasant experience and on the way home I worked my way to Detroit Avenue. I had noticed in my short time in this city that there was a line of chuckholes that did a real number on both driver side tires. There's a turn lane in the middle so I figured I would drive just a little left of the chuckholes, technically on the yellow line but in no danger of hitting oncoming traffic. My wife warned me one day I would get a ticket.

Well one of Westlake's finest pulled me over. Luckily I hadn't had that glass of wine at the theater. The gentleman heard me out, checked my license and saw that I lived nearby and wasn't impaired in any way so he decided to only warn me. He kindly asked me to refrain from driving on the yellow lines and sent me on my way without a ticket.

Round 2 occurred in the performance of my grandfatherly duties. Each morning I drove my grandson to pre-school at St Bernadette. Pre-school entered by way of the Clague Road entrance. I was as yet unaware of the rear entrance so I also exited back out onto Clague Road. At 8 o'clock in the morning, Clague Road features half of North Olmsted and half of Westlake trying to make their way north to I-90 as quickly as possible.

Exiting that parking lot I felt it necessary to don leather gloves, helmet, and channel my inner-Mario Andretti just to get out. On one of those mornings when I saw that minuscule crease open up, the same type of tiny hole that Eric Metcalf used to motor through to score those punt return touchdowns, I mashed on the gas.

As I made my left onto Center Ridge Road I was pulled over by another of Westlake's finest. I was going over the 20 mph school zone limit, the officer informed me. When I explained that I had just dropped off my grandson at St. Bernadette and my need for speed to even get out of there he peered into my backseat to notice the car seat. He also decided to let me go with a warning. What Shangri-La had I stumbled onto, this Westlake, Ohio.

My wife worked for years in the St. John Hospital emergency room as a registered nurse. In the emergency room she met just about every policeman in Cleveland's first district. There were some fine gentlemen and women of every race, creed and color. But in Cleveland the emphasis of "to protect and serve" out of necessity was on the "protect" part. Here in Westlake they have the luxury to put emphasis on the "serve" part of that motto.

One evening while walking my dog an officer stopped his car to engage me in conversation asking about a camouflage hat I was wearing that my grandson in the Navy had sent me. I'm friends with the department on Facebook. They warn me about seniors who have been scammed, post pictures of miscreants filmed in the commission of crimes and I share them with my friends. To top off their move in my mind as the best police department ever is they have the coolest police dog. A Belgian Malinois is a breed I had never heard of until my Bay Area brother told me he was obsessed with them; better than German Shepherds, he told me. Now Westlake has one.

Thanks, gentlemen, for making our transition to the 'burbs a smooth one.

giovanni palmiero

in my retirement I'm a nanny to my niece's two boys, ages 17 months and 4.

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Volume 12, Issue 24, Posted 9:57 AM, 12.15.2020