Our view for October 6

DKS Editors

Here’s what we know about the big fight at Campus Pointe:

Calls to 911 were coming in between 1:51 a.m. and 2:08 a.m. One mentioned seeing someone brandish a gun. So for at least 17 minutes, law enforcement officers were aware there was a major scuffle involving 30 to 40 people and weapons in the parking lot at Campus Pointe.

Recall Nov. 15. Kent State student Christopher Kernich was assaulted on Main Street and later died because of it.

Two months later, on Jan. 23, another Kent State student, John White, was assaulted in downtown Kent. He also died from his injuries.

Kent Police Department, Kent State Police Department and the Portage County Sheriff’s Department don’t need to be reminded about those incidents. The memories are no doubt painful for those officers involved.

Surely, they’re aware that if it happened twice in this sleepy college town, it can happen again.

The question is: Did Portage County law enforcement take too long to arrive on the scene of the Sept. 26 brawl at Campus Pointe?

Officials at the sheriff’s office have not said that 17 minutes or longer is a slow response to a situation like that one, and we’re not sure whether it is.

They’ve said their cruisers were tied up with other things at the time of incident and that they had to request mutual aid. Kent city police arrived on the scene first; we don’t know what time because deputies and police have not been forthcoming with that particular piece of information.

And it’s still unclear what the other on-duty Portage County deputies were tied up with. We’re still asking those questions.

The bottom line is: If 17 minutes was too long to respond to a major assault situation, then something should be done.

Maybe it means better communication between the three law enforcement agencies in and around Kent. Maybe it’s a closer look at their procedures for dispatching. Maybe it means hiring more officers.

If it can prevent more assaults, whatever they change will have been worth it.

The above editorial is the consensus opinion of the Daily Kent Stater editorial board whose members are listed to the left. Ashley Sepanski abstained from this editorial due to previous reporting about the Campus Pointe incident.