KSU, city police to celebrate joint jurisdiction

Nathan J. Havenner

Safety representatives from Kent State and the city of Kent will celebrate a partnership between forces from both institutions Tuesday.

Officer Michquel Penn of Campus Police Services said the partnership between safety forces from the university and the city places areas between the western edge of campus and city under the jurisdiction of both police forces.

“This has been a work in progress for about a year now,” Penn said. “We were able to set up the joint jurisdiction with the city of Kent Police Department and our relationship is an ongoing thing.”

Penn said that because of the joint jurisdiction, both Kent State police services as well as Kent Police are patrolling certain areas. Officers from both police forces will have authority in the designated joint jurisdiction areas.

“There are areas near campus in which the city of Kent Police Department has authority to patrol on, and at the same time, we have authority as well,” Penn said.

Lt. James Prusha of the Kent Police Department said the joint jurisdiction eliminates the need for an officer to contact the other police department if he or she witnesses a crime and is out of the department’s jurisdiction.

Prusha said Kent Police are now able to take enforcement action if they deem it is necessary.

“Many of the residents in those areas of town are Kent State students living in rental properties, so it makes sense for Kent State Police to get involved,” Prusha said. “The purpose of the joint patrol district is to increase patrol in those areas.”

Prusha said these areas in the joint jurisdiction are high in what are considered crimes associated with parties such as underage drinking and fighting.

According to a Kent State press release, the joint jurisdiction is located between the western edge of Kent State’s campus and Kent. This agreement will be celebrated at the Kent Fire Department on Depeyster Street at 2:30 p.m. Kent State President Lester Lefton and Kent City Manager Dave Ruller will give a presentation before distributing T-shirts to both Kent State and Kent safety forces.

Contact Nathan Havenner at [email protected].