The Van Wert County Courthouse

Sunday, Jan. 16, 2022

Blackmore 2020 Peony Fest grand marshal

VW independent/submitted information

The Van Wert Peony Festival Committee has selected Van Wert Police and City DARE Officer Greg Blackmore as its 2020 grand marshal. Blackmore was nominated twice for this honor by Renee Hartman and an anonymous individual, who both wanted to recognize Blackmore, who retires this year, for all he has done for the betterment of Van Wert’s young people.

VWPD and DARE Officer Greg Blackmore surrounding by his wife, Shari; his two daughters, Amber and Sierra; and son, Lawson. photo provided

Blackmore is a lifelong resident of the Van Wert community and lives here with his wife of 36 years, Shari. The couple has three children, Amber, Sierra, and Lawson, and a grandson, Gavin.  

Blackmore graduated from Van Wert High School in 1982 and joined the United States Army in October of that year. Appropriately, Blackmore served as a military policeman during his four-year Army stint and was stationed in Germany for much of that time. In April 1983, Blackmore returned home to marry Shari and she joined him in Germany until his enlistment was up.

The Blackmores returned to Van Wert to live after his stint in the Army, and Greg worked at Fleetwood in Decatur, Indiana, for the first five years.

However, coming from a law enforcement family (his father, Jack, retired as a VWPD lieutenant) it was perhaps inevitable that Blackmore would follow in his father’s footsteps.

Blackmore spoke of many fond memories of being uptown with his dad and people thanking his father for his service. That love of family tradition led not only Greg, but his brother, Jeff, to both take the Civil Service exam when the opportunity to fill a position with the VWPD came open. 

“My brother beat my score in the exam, but I finished right behind him,” Greg said. “We both were offered positions.” 

Jeff retired last year as a detective sergeant, while Greg will retire this April after 30 years.

After he had been a police officer for approximately six years, Blackmore was approached for consideration as the city’s DARE officer. The county also had a DARE officer at the time, now retired deputy Keith Allen, but the VWPD needed to replace its first officer, who didn’t stay long in the position.

Blackmore talked about the DARE certification process he went through in Indianapolis, noting it was hard, but that the experience has been well worth the effort it has taken.  

Blackmore said he loves working with all the city schools and day cares, while also serving as Van Wert City Schools’ liaison with the VWPD, as well as providing safety training in all city schools. Officer Blackmore also pulls a regular weekly road shift for the VWPD, in addition to his considerable DARE duties.

Blackmore credits his wife for her support through the long hours, DARE special events, and calls in the middle of the night. 

“She is my biggest supporter,” he noted. Family is important to Blackmore, who added he waited an additional year to retire just so he could be the DARE officer when his grandson, Gavin, graduates from the program this April.

When talking about his retirement, Greg spoke of his enjoyment of outdoor activities — hunting, fishing, and watching his son, Lawson, play baseball — while noting he plans to do a lot more of all three of those activities when he retires. 

The Peony Festival Board is pleased to honor Officer Blackmore for the many things he has done for local youngsters and the community as a whole.

POSTED: 02/28/20 at 2:11 am. FILED UNDER: News