Kent State Police Department hit by economic woes

Tim Ritzert

WATCH a video about the Kent State police department.

Kent State will be seeing less of the Campus Police on the road for the time being.

The KSUPD is cutting a position.

The department has 27 total positions and currently has 25 officers. One of those open positions will be filled, but the other will remain open.

Police Chief John Peach said that could mean people calling the department with calls that do not require immediate assistance, such as thefts, will have to wait because of less manpower.

“To say to people who have a need help your going to have to wait possibly fifteen minutes to an hour doesn’t rub well with us,” Peach said.

Peach originally thought the department would have to go without both positions. But during a meeting on Friday with the administration, Peach and the University decided they could fill one position and still fit within the campus-wide budget reductions.

“So that really relieves me frankly of continuing to handle the police services responsibilities with two less officers,” Peach said.

The cuts at the police department are just a few of Kent State’s reductions. The University is cutting 2% of its budget university wide in all departments by June. But University officials say after this round of cuts, there is very little to trim from the university budget.

Vice President for Finance Gregg Floyd said it was hard to cut money from the campus police.

But he said they had very little choice.

“This is a very lean university in terms of its staffing, so these are very difficult decisions to make,” he said. “But when 70% of the budget is personnel costs, it’s awfully hard to influence much in the way of budget changes without impacting people.”

Floyd says further cuts may be coming when the state budget is finalized near the end of June.

But Peach says in the meantime, the KSU Police Department will get by.

“This police department is geared to give optimum service,” he said. “With the staffing we have, the staffing we’re anticipating, great officers, they’ve been here for a while, they’re committed, and quite frankly we believe that our service to the community is paramount and we’re going to deliver.”