I wanted to share my perspective on Issue 11, a new building for the Kent Police Department.
I work part-time as a detention officer. The job is not my main source of income and I do not live in Kent, so I cannot vote for it. However, I am in favor of Issue 11 and support the increased income tax. I will pay for a new building.
The jail does not meet the American Standards for jails, however, it is "grandfathered" and currently remains open. My observation is the following: if it were to close, there would be no need for jailers and Kent Police officers would be on the road less. Any arrest would require a police officer to conduct the booking process (a minimum of 30 minutes on a good day). Then they would be required to remain on station until someone could pick up the arrestee.
Too often, officers respond to domestic violence situations as well as drunk-driving traffic offenses. These incidents take time to work through. Other nights, someone is too intoxicated to book in and they are arrested because they cannot care for themselves. An officer would need to be present until they sober up and can be released. Others become extremely agitated and cannot remain in the community for public safety reasons.
The alternative to maintaining a jail in Kent would be to transport prisoners to the county jail. Holding a prisoner at the Portage County Sheriff's Office also costs the city a housing fee. Travel to Ravenna and the transfer process alone takes a minimum of 45 minutes. This is another officer that could not patrol during that time.
This issue will not affect home owners. It will be paid for by income tax. Thanks to all those who took the time to tour KPD, so you may vote intelligently. There are actually two more weekends of tours: Sunday, Oct. 28, noon to 4 p.m. and Saturday, Nov. 3, from noon to 4 p.m. These are the last scheduled tour dates open to the public. I encourage you to take this time and be an informed voter!