I won’t ever forget my first visit to the Greenfield Police Department.
No, it wasn’t for something like this guy did, or for the mess this woman made, and though I had to wait a few minutes to speak with someone, I certainly didn’t pull a stunt like this impatient individual.
When I did get to meet with someone face-to-face, it was then-Captain (now Assistant Chief) Paul Schlecht. I told him who I was and that I was the editor of Greenfield Patch. In typical police officer form, Captain Schlecht sized me up with his well-trained eyes.
And then, right there in the front lobby, the interrogation began.
“What is Greenfield Patch?” Captain Schlecht asked. “Who writes all the stories? Who edits the stories? How will you make money? Who pays you? Are you going to sell ads? Who owns Patch? What does ‘Patch’ mean?”
These days I talk about Greenfield Patch in my sleep, and when asked about the site, my answers are churned out with ease. Just ask Bakers Square’s Jeannette Lucero, who had the pleasure of hearing my spiel at least a hundred times at the adjacent table during National Night Out.
But back in December 2010, as I stumbled through my answers that I had just days to rehearse, I thought, “What the heck did I get myself into?”
Today, as Greenfield Patch celebrates its second anniversary, I think, “Look what I have been blessed to be a part of.”
Patches from coast to coast have changed the way people “get” their local news. Patch editors cover things that were largely going uncovered, tell stories that for too long were going untold, and write about what people in our towns, villages and cities find most important.
But we’ve done more than that. We’ve worked hard at bringing our communities together, giving them a hub where they can share their thoughts with their neighbors about anything from the school district, to Walmart to coyotes. And we’ve given people from all walks of life a platform to express their thoughts, talk about their hobbies or hand out some expertise as one of our Local Voices bloggers.
Back in 2010, then-Captain Schlecht seemed understandably skeptical — of Patch, perhaps of me — when we first met. I’m sure most of you were when I first emailed, called or sat down with you to tell you about Greenfield Patch. But for two years, we’ve all worked together to help make the site what I hope is an indispensible part of our community.
Thanks to all who have made our second year better than the first, and here’s hoping the third is the best yet.