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Small-town Ohio police invite online fans to fest

Published on NewsOK Modified: September 20, 2013 at 5:44 pm •  Published: September 20, 2013
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"I think that people are coming out because of the idea and because of, you know, it's kind of an all-American thing," Oliver told The Associated Press.

Another draw will be the big, beefy chief himself and the launch of his book, "No Mopes Allowed."

The book proceeds go to a nonprofit foundation he and his wife created to benefit local programs and sexually abused children. It's the latest community betterment project by the chief and his officers, who also have pitched "no mopes" gear made by a local shop to raise more than $10,000 for school security improvements.

Kelly Whelan is driving for a little over five hours from Ashburn, Va., to attend Brimfest — and get a signed copy of Oliver's book. Whelan, 45, made hotel reservations in April after reading Oliver's invitation.

Whelan will attend the festival in a group of six. She and a friend bought Virginia police badges and are hoping to swap them for one from Brimfield.

Not everyone is a fan of Oliver's approach, and commenters occasionally gripe that he uses work time inappropriately for Facebook or shouldn't be discussing suspects in a public forum. But Oliver isn't fazed by criticism or Facebook fame.

"If you're going to start social media, you have to be consistent," he said. "And that's all I want to do. ... I want to keep being me, keep being us here at the police department, keep our efforts very clear and our mission very clear on doing the right thing and helping as many people as possible."

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Follow Kantele Franko on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/kantele10 .

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Online:

Brimfield Police: www.facebook.com/BrimfieldPolice