Together, we can keep our community and children safe | Guest editorial

Kirkland police are dedicated to working with the community to help ensure no credible threat falls through the cracks or sits on a desk.

  • Wednesday, March 7, 2018 11:30am
  • Opinion

The frequency of school shootings has unnerved communities across the country. We’d like to think that it couldn’t happen here in Kirkland, but each community that has experienced a school shooting probably said the same thing.

Your Kirkland Police Department consistently trains to prepare for and help prevent this kind of tragedy in our schools. Our courageous officers regularly practice how to respond to active shooters. They are equipped to react and are trained in crisis intervention.

A strong community policing partnership with the Lake Washington School District provides school resource officers in each of our high schools. While these officers focus on building relationships with students, they also spend time training school staff on responding to critical incidents.

In Kirkland, we take every threat seriously. We are dedicated to working with the schools and the larger community to help ensure no credible threat falls through the cracks or sits on a desk.

We want our community to remember that if you see something, say something. There are a number of ways to contact the police department, including contacting the school resource officers at (425) 587-3400 or using the online police reporting system (www.kirklandwa.gov/onlinereporting). The tip line accessed through this portal allows both anonymous and named entries and it is checked every day. Those who wish to leave a tip through a phone line can call the KPD tip line at (425) 587-3515. Public participation, care and concern can make a life or death difference.

We urge Kirkland residents to stay involved in their children’s lives. Don’t hesitate to appropriately monitor phones or check social media profiles and online activity. According to a 2016 Pew Research poll, 84 percent of parents report taking at least one step to monitor or restrict their child’s online activities, while 16 percent indicate that they have not taken any actions with their teen’s online activity. Staying aware may save your child’s life.

Kirkland police also recognizes that bullying can be a problem both in and out of the school environment. We are committed to working together to help problem solve with students and the schools. Students in crisis should not be afraid to contact a police officer.

We are all in this together. Information sharing and heightened awareness will make a difference in our community. If you would like the neighborhood resource officer or a school resource officer to make a presentation to your neighborhood or organization on how to keep our children safe, please call our Kirkland police business line at (425) 587-3400 or email police@kirklandwa.gov. Working together, we can keep our community, especially our children, safe.

Kirkland Police Chief Cherie Harris, Kirkland Mayor Amy Walen, Deputy Mayor Jay Arnold and Kirkland City Council members Penny Sweet, Dave Asher, Toby Nixon and Jon Pascal

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