Small-town Ohio police invite online fans to fest

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio police chief has invited his nearly 85,000 Facebook followers to his small town’s annual community festival this weekend and expects at least 1,000 from near and far to show up.

Brimfield Township Chief David Oliver started the page more than three years ago hoping to reach 500 people in his northeast Ohio community. But his posts mixing humor, blunt opinion and community engagement draw an online audience that’s now eight times the number of residents the department serves.

Oliver says more than 1,000 fans signed up to visit this weekend, many from out of town or out of state. He’s turned the parade into a tribute for veterans and says more than 400 will participate.

The only folks not invited are the criminals that Oliver frequently refers to as “mopes.”

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