Kent Police Department to be opened for public tour

Kelly Maile

Kick off the Halloween season with a tour of an antiquated, dilapidated 1920s firehouse.

The Kent Police are giving city residents and voters a chance to take an in-depth tour of the Kent Police Department prior to the Nov. 6 general election.

During the tours, visitors will be able to take a rare insider’s look at the entire facility — originally constructed in 1924 for the Kent Fire Department.

Voters can take this opportunity to invest in their safety services. During the

Nov. 6 election, Kent City Council is asking voters to approve a 0.25 percent income tax levy that would generate about $1.3 million annually for construction of a new police department.

The current building has a wide range of documented physical deficiencies that continually require expensive, short-term fixes.

“We would like to be more efficient with money,” said Captain Jayme Cole of the Kent Police Department. “Right now, we’re spending good money on bad repairs. It’s a sinkhole.”

Currently, the building structure is not in compliance with modern-day building or zoning codes, National Fire Protection Association requirements, Ohio

Departments of Rehabilitation and Correction regulations or the Americans with Disabilities Act.

“The idea is for voters and residents to come out and see for themselves why this building no longer functions as a police department,” Cole said.

Voters will have multiple opportunities to tour the building. Tours will start on the hour, between noon and 4 p.m., on the following dates: Oct. 14, Oct. 20, Oct. 28 and Nov. 3.

While the building is not compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, accommodations for tour participants can be made by calling 330-673-7732 for more information.

Because the Kent Safety Building and Kent Fire Department share an already-congested 81-space parking lot on Day Street, visitors will be asked to use the City Hall parking lot, located at 217 E. Summit St.

Contact Kelly Maile at [email protected].