Community gathers for groundbreaking of new Kent Police Station

Spectators take photos as members of Kent State’s architectural department break ground on the new police station on Tuesday, July 12, 2016.

Devon Sherepita

Members of the Kent community gathered at the end of College Avenue to celebrate the groundbreaking of the new police station Tuesday. 

Kent City Police, city council members and local residents witnessed the official start to the project, expected to be completed next year.

The request for the new station was put to a vote back in 2014 to fulfill a need for more workspace and building repairs that amassed over the years.

Not only did the department have to deal with leaky roofs, burst pipes and clogged drains, but the actual jail for Kent’s community was not large enough to hold prisoners safely and comfortably.

The community proved its support when votes tallied in favor of the new station. Demolition of structures standing on the area the station is to be constructed began last year.

“I would like to thank all of the volunteers who helped us campaign,” Police Chief Michelle Lee said. “So many people out there who are big supporters, I just want to say thank you so much for that assistance.”

Mayor Jerry Fiala also spoke on behalf of the community, thanking them for their support.

“This is a great day to say thank you because if it weren’t for you, this day would have never come,” Fiala said.

There were smiles and good spirits throughout the crowd during the ceremony.

Lee pointed out how refreshing it was  to see police and citizens come together in support of each other amidst the recent events that have taken place in Dallas, Texas,  and the rest of the country.

“I think we’ve made great gains in the last decade or so and continue to build positive bridges with the community,” Lee said. “Supporting the police station at this time takes a special community—and that’s definitely what Kent is.”

Devon Sherepita is a city reporter, contact her at [email protected]