Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety
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|Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety|
|Superseding agency||Kalamazoo Police Department and Kalamazoo Fire Department|
|Legal personality||Governmental: Government agency|
|Operations jurisdiction*||State of Michigan, USA|
|Location of Kalamazoo within Kalamazoo County, Michigan|
|Size||25.11 sq mi (65.03 sq km)|
|Legal jurisdiction||Kalamazoo, MI|
|Headquarters||150 E. Crosstown Kalamazoo, MI|
|Agency executive||Karianne Thomas, Chief|
|* Divisional agency: Division of the country, over which the agency has usual operational jurisdiction.|
The Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety is the department charged with police, fire and rescue operations in Kalamazoo, Michigan. It is one of the largest public safety departments in the nation, with over 200 sworn officers.
Public Safety Model
The Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety was one of the original public safety departments in the world. The Kalamazoo Police Department and Kalamazoo Fire Department were merged in the 1980s with the goal of saving significant tax payer money while increasing the amount of police and fire protection for its citizens. The merger of the departments was a difficult process on reaching agreement with unions covering the fire department and police department. The difficult effort of the merger of the departments along with the successes was even noted by the United States House of Representatives in the Congressional Record.
As one of the largest public safety departments Kalamazoo Public Safety is now considered a model public safety department and often consults and trains other cities throughout the world on the public safety model.
Racial Profiling and Bias
The Kalamazoo community has long accused the department of racial profiling and the department commissioned a year long study which substantiated the community's claims when it comes to traffic stops. Since this time the department has been working hard to confront the racial bias in its department and has received international news coverage for attempting to address the racial issues the department acknowledges it has.
Cash and Contraband Missing From Evidence Room
In 1995 a Grand Jury was convened to investigate missing cash and contraband from Kalamazoo Public Safety's evidence room. Although much of the evidence and investigation still remains secret and the US Attorney declined to prosecute the city attorney at the time has publicly acknowledged that the incident happened
On April 18, 2011, while responding to a shots fired call in Kalamazoo's Edison neighborhood, PSO Eric Zapata was fatally shot. Officer Zapata was the first officer in Kalamazoo to be killed in the line of duty. A funeral was held in his honor on April 26, 2011 at Miller Auditorium. Thousands of people, some from around the United States showed up to pay their final respects.
- United States of America Congressional Record: Merger Platinum Anniversary, Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety – Google Books. Books.google.com. Retrieved 2010-06-12.
- "Municipal Debt: Police, Fire Department Merger Attempts Spark Union Fights". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 30 May 2015.
- Multitasking police in Kalamazoo have been at it for years. YouTube. 18 February 2013. Retrieved 28 May 2015.
- "Brotherhood of Duties: More communities consider different type of public safety". schurz-wsbt-tv. Retrieved 30 May 2015.
- "Kalamazoo Public Safety officers target black drivers in traffic stops, racial profiling study concludes". MLive.com. Retrieved 30 May 2015.
- "Kalamazoo Police Tackle Racial Profiling - Al Jazeera America". aljazeera.com. Retrieved 30 May 2015.
- "Records of investigation into missing drugs may remain secret". rcfp.org. Retrieved 30 May 2015.
- "A compassionate listener: Newly appointed Kalamazoo City Commissioner Robert Cinabro says he has the skills for the job". MLive.com. Retrieved 30 May 2015.
- "Officer Eric Zapata remembered: Fellow Kalamazoo officers recall the night he died (Part 1 of 2)". MLive.com. Retrieved 28 May 2015.