First Community Safety Day a success in Muskegon Heights



By Cynthia Price

Last Saturday the City of Muskegon Heights, in particular the Police Department backed by local sponsors Meijer and The Farmacy, took a big chance. They thought it was worth seeing if local people, many of whom remain hungry despite better economic times in the state, would exchange their guns for  $100 Meijer gift cards that could be spent only on food.

According to Muskegon Heights Police Chief Joseph Thomas, the gamble paid off. Even before the event people had dropped off 15-20 guns to the department itself. “And there was a line already when I got here this morning,” he said.

“We got to thinking this over, and we realized that guns are a community problem, not just a police problem,” Chief Thomas said. “So some of us thought it would be nice to see how the community responded. And I’m very pleased with how they did.”

He credits Justin Williams of The Farmacy with organizing, but Williams in turn credits the chief.

The event also featured a free hot-dog lunch, a bounce house, health screenings, a variety of games, and information booths.

It took place at Rowan Park, the same place hosting Festival in the Park this week, with Hip-hop Artist Twista Friday (June 14), and a 10:00 parade and 7:00 R&B show  featuring Switch with Raydio Saturday, June 15.