With a victory over the Kent Firefighters in the first annual Kent Police vs. Kent Fire basketball fund raiser for cancer this passed weekend, the Kent Police have not only earned their stripes but also bragging rights around City Hall.
Trust me, the firefighters and cops have great respect for each other, but there’s a rivalry buried within all that brotherly love, and I’m sure the overtime loss to the cops is a source of great pain for the firefighters. No doubt the cops are reminding the firefighters of the final score every chance they get.
So I wouldn’t be surprised to see some reference to the victory on the cover of the 2012 Kent Police Annual Report, but in the meantime the cops can stand proud following another great year of serving the Kent community in 2011 as detailed in Chief Lee’s 2011 Kent Police Annual Report.
The report provides insights into the measures that matter most in a community — the City of Kent experienced a decrease in nearly all of the reported categories of crimes, accidents and calls for service. Chief Lee reports that when she looks at the 10 Year Crime Index, she’s proud to see the hard work of the members of the force having led to steady reductions in incidents of serious crimes and a steady increase in our crime clearance rate. In her business, that’s a true win-win outcome.
It’s worth noting that 2011 was a year of significant leadership transition in the Kent Police Department — former Chief Peach retired, 2 Lieutenant positions changed over, 8 promotions occurred and 3 new hires were made — yet, the Department didn’t miss a beat as Chief Lee used her experience and excellent communication skills to ensure that the professional reputation of the Department carried on and grew under watch.
TV and movies may be entertaining but don’t judge your hometown Police Officers based on the drama’s you see on the small and big screen. That’s a whole different reality. I’m not suggesting that there isn’t drama in real life, but the work of a professional Police Officer is so much more than the high tension car chases and crime scenes.
Chief Lee’s Annual Report provides a window into the diversity of work that the Kent Police Officers get involved in. One of Chief Lee’s ambitions was to expand community policing and strengthen the connections of Police Officers with neighborhoods. It’s a modern version of the beat cop who had the time to walk the streets, talk to people and stay plugged in to local networks.
The world today is too busy for cops to have time to sit on the front stoop and chat a while but Chief Lee is making a case with her people every day to what they can to interact with residents in positive ways. She has great people working with her and I’ve personally seen change taking root, and more importantly I’ve heard from people in the community that they notice a more customer oriented approach by the Police under Chief Lee’s leadership.
I think you’ll see some of Chief Lee’s customer orientation listed in the highlights of the 2011 Annual Report: