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Traffic Flowing Smoothly Again at Roosevelt Drive

Main entrance to high, middle schools has officer directing traffic again

After a rough start to the school year for drivers traffic is a lot less crowded at one of two main entrances to and .

For the first few days drivers entering the campus from Hudson Drive did so without the aid of a security guard, who had directed traffic in the busy morning and afternoon rush hours for the past several years.

Capt. Paul Canfield said the department had gotten a few complaints at the end of this past school year regarding the security officer, who is not a school employee but is contracted by the district through Metro Security.

Canfield said the police department told the district he couldn't direct traffic, because he's not a trained police officer, until they determined if he had a lawful right to do so.

"He is back in place and we have no objection to doing that at this point," Canfield said.

The lack of help in directing drivers upset some parents, who took to Facebook to complain about the issue.

Jim Soyars, director of business services for , said the first few days of school were a little rough for drivers and the district fielded numerous calls about the missing security officer.

Those calls were directed to the police department.

"I was fielding them on an hourly basis for the first couple of days of school," Canfield said.

The police department determined that any liability issues related to the security guard directing traffic would fall on the school district and the security firm.

Soyars said the guard is back directing traffic from about 7 to 7:30 a.m. and 2:45 to 3:15 p.m. on week days — to the delight of parents.

"As of this last Monday he’s been able to direct traffic out there and it’s been working out great," Soyars said. "They’re so happy he’s back. It’s really helpful to have him out there at that intersection those two times of the school day."

Brian September 10, 2012 at 02:57 PM
"Capt. Paul Canfield said the department had gotten a few complaints at the end of this past school year regarding the security officer" If this is true, why were the complaints not addressed at the end of last school year? Why wait until the beginning of this year to "address" the complaints by removing him. It makes no sense. "Canfield said the police department told the district he couldn't direct traffic, because he's not a trained police officer, until they determined if he had a lawful right to do so." Again, he has been there for years. Why now? How long does it take to make a determination that he has said authority? Something doesn't add up and do I dare say that the truth behind his temporary removal has a basis in some reason other than the 2 "explanations" provided by the good Captain. I wonder if Kent PD wanted the job. While the Kent PD screwed around for 2 weeks, kids and parents were placed in harm's way due to the resulting chaos. During the period of the security guard's removal, police officers were not always present and/or didn't always get out of their cruiser. Absurd. The school district and the security guard have always done a great job in handling the traffic in the area. Thanks for the "help" Kent PD...
Matt Fredmonsky September 10, 2012 at 03:31 PM
Both the police department and school district said the police department didn't have personnel to provide an officer for traffic detail.
Sean Cooper September 10, 2012 at 05:21 PM
Thank you for the nice article, I am glad to be back in service at the intersection. For the record: the initial complaint was in regards to the intersection coming out of Stanton Middle School, and not the one i'm posted at. Kent Police had misunderstood the location people were calling about. Also they did give me notice on the last day of school last year that they were suspending my duties there until further notice, it wasn't a snap decision made at the last minute this year. It's good to be back and I will continue to direct the traffic to the best of my abilities. Thanks again.
Matt Fredmonsky September 10, 2012 at 05:55 PM
Thanks for the information Sean.

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