Number of Officers
At maximum staffing levels, the patrol division consists of three lieutenants, three sergeants, and twenty five patrol officers. The average age of the officers is 37. There are four female officers in patrol, and twenty one males. The department has three shifts. Each shift is staffed with one lieutenant, one sergeant and seven or eight officers. One officer is assigned to swing shift. The city is divided into four areas, and each shift assigns an officer to patrol each of the four areas.
Safety and Enforcement Campaigns
The patrol division participates in several safety and enforcement campaigns throughout the year. These include the seat belt Click it or Ticket campaign, Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over, motorcycle safety, targeted enforcement in high crime areas, and traffic check points where OVI (Operating a Vehicle while under the Influence) violations are targeted, driving under suspension, and persons with active warrants.
The Kent Police Department is committed to community policing. Community policing is a policing strategy and philosophy based on the idea that community interaction and support can help control crime. To that end, the police department utilizes assigned areas. This means that the same officer patrols the same area every day. This gives both the officer and the citizens the opportunity to get to know one another, building respect and trust along the way.
In 1998 the department implemented the Bike Patrol Program and sent supervisors to certified training schools in order to train the other officers in house. Initially twenty officers were trained in bike patrol and currently fourteen serve actively. Bike patrol functions and assignments are somewhat restricted due to their inability to respond to emergency calls. However, an officer on a patrol bike is able to perform functions and navigate in places where a patrol car cannot. These situations would include parades, special events in venues that restrict automobiles, and other tactical functions for either security purposes or crime enforcement.
Kent police officers must be able to handle many situations. There are no specialized departments, like traffic, robbery / homicide, burglary, etc. Each officer must be able to handle all calls that occur. In light of that, the police department provides internal (in-service) and external training resources to provide advanced training, career development opportunities, and specialized training related to new law enforcement technology. Some of the training officers have received is listed below.
- Firearm training and certification for sidearms, shotguns and patrol rifles.
- Less-than-lethal weapon training
- Use of force decision-making and documentation
- Breath alcohol testing certification
- Electronic speed measuring devices
- Basic Crash Investigation
- Active Shooter Response Training
- Death Notifications
- Interview and Interrogation Techniques
- Automobile Search and Inventory
- Miranda rights
- Search and seizure
- Terrorism Awareness
- Interview Techniques
- Body Language and Eye Accessing
- BAC Datamaster Certification
- Long Range Sniper Training
- Bulk Narcotics Workshop
- SCUBA Dive Certification
- Armorer Certification
- Police Canine Basic Patrol and Narcotics Certification
- Alcohol Detection and Prosecution
- Critical Incident Team
- Patrol Drug Operations
- Fugitive Task Force Training
- Field Training Officer Certification
- Supervisor Training and Education Program
- Police Executive Leadership College
- FBI National Academy
- Working with Victims of Domestic Violence and Sexual Abuse
- Taser Instructor Certification
- Analysis of Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted in the Line of Duty
Task Force Participation
In addition, patrol officers and detectives are assigned to other specialized functions in addition to their primary duties. These responsibilities are:
- Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force (NOVFTF)
- Under the direction of the U. S. Marshal's Office,this multi-jurisdictional agency, represented by federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, search for and apprehend dangerous felons and fugitives who are located in the jurisdictions of the participating agencies. Two officers are assigned part-time to this organization which has been instrumental in the apprehension of Kent area fugitives.
- U.S. Department of Justice Anti-Terrorism Task Force (ATTF)
- Under the direction of U.S. Attorney of the Northern District of Ohio, this multi-jurisdictional agency coordinates the dissemination of information and development of investigative and prosecutorial strategy in dealing with terrorism. The Task Force acts as a conduit for intelligence information about suspected terrorist activity, which is shared by participating federal, state and local agencies. One officer is assigned part-time to this organization.
- Portage County Drug Task Force
- Under the direction of the Portage County Sheriff, this multi-jurisdictional agency investigates and apprehends offenders involved in the trafficking, distribution, and possession of illegal drugs within the communities of participating agencies. Membership includes the Portage County Sheriff's Office, the Portage County Prosecutor's Office, and the Kent, Aurora, Streetsboro, and Ravenna police departments. Each agency has at least one full time officer assigned to the Task Force.
- Metro Swat
- This highly trained, professional multi-jurisdictional special weapons team responds to incidents within the jurisdictions of participating members that require special weapons and tactics to deal with riotous activity, large crowd control, barricaded suspects, execution of drug warrants, arrest of dangerous felons, and the rescue of hostages or endangered persons. The organization is comprised of twenty (20) Summit/ Portage County law enforcement agencies. The Kent community has needed the assistance of Metro SWAT fifteen (15) times in the past five years. There are three Kent officers assigned part-time to the team.