School safety will always be a top priority in Kent but recurring tragedies in schools around the country have added an even greater sense of urgency to the local conversation.
Whether it is Parkland, Florida or in our backyard in Chardon, we’ve learned that safety can never be taken for granted. It has to be a community priority, and it takes a community to fulfill it.
Public Safety is a Community Effort
Great communities know how to look out for one another, especially those among us that are most vulnerable like children, disabled or the elderly.
Kent is small enough that personal relationships between Police Officers and residents can have a significant impact in anticipating, preventing, and responding to crime.
The key is knowing how to work together as a community to do that well.
That starts with getting to know each other, which is why Kent Police Officers spend so much time at community festivals, sporting events, school dances, neighborhood block parties, and any other place where members of the community gather together.
Community Safety Networks
Tactics, training, and technology will always play a large role in public safety but for all the high tech options available to fight crime, Kent Police rely on one of the oldest tactics in the book — building community relationships.
Kent Police schedule time on patrol every day to be around the people that they serve, visiting schools, walking neighborhoods and dropping-in on businesses as part of a strategy to inform, connect and strengthen community safety relationships.
The safest communities are those places where safety professionals work hand-in-hand with community members to look out for one another and their community. Those are places where relationships become partnerships, and those partnerships become the line of defense against crime.
Everyone has a stake in keeping our community safe, and it turns out that we all have things we can do to help keep it that way.
Experience has shown that nothing beats the eyes and ears of neighbors, teachers, students, or dog walkers to alert the Police to crime before it happens.
From casual conversations to neighborhood meetings, the Kent Police use foot and bike patrols to routinely interact with the public before problems arise so that when public safety is at risk, we know how to work together to keep our community safe.
School Patrols & Resource Officer
Kent Police patrols drop-in and walk through City schools as part of their daily patrol assignments. On average, Kent Police Officers perform 30 drop-in school visits each week.
Kent Police Officers can’t be everywhere at all times but the City and Kent City Schools partner to make sure a Police Officer is on site at Roosevelt High School — and is available to visit the Stanton Middle School, as well as Kent’s elementary schools. Kent City Schools pays the salary of the School Resource Officer during the academic year and the City picks up the tab in the summer months.
The School Resource Officer is a fully trained, veteran Police Officer who provides immediate response capabilities, security, and support for student, teacher and parent safety.
School Events & Safety Education
Kent Police and Emergency Medical Services personnel are paid by the Kent School system to work large school functions and sporting events to protect public safety.
School Crossing Guards are hired and trained by the Kent Police Department to assist in the safe arrival and departure of students. Kent Police and Kent City Schools share in the cost of the Crossing Guard salaries.
Kent Police and Fire employees provide a range of training events in Kent Schools, including ALICE training, Project Childsafe (gun locks), lockdown, evacuation, and fire safety education.
At its best, a community is a place that steps up to answer the call when people need help.
Kent Officers devote a lot of time in outreach to children.
Having an opportunity to make a positive impression on kids has proven to be critical in building the long term trust between Police Officers and members of the community that is the foundation of safe communities.
Spending time with kids in their classrooms, on their playgrounds, even on their bikes, is how Kent Officers go from strangers into “helpers” in times of need.