Mayor's Corner: Lakewood Is A Safe Space, Thank You LPD

This week is National Police Week,  a time established by President John F. Kennedy and the US Congress in 1962 as a way for us all to honor America’s law enforcement community. In Lakewood, we are fortunate to have a fantastic team of officers at the Lakewood Police Department (LPD) serving us every day and keeping us safe. Police work is not easy – the hours can be tough and the work itself can be both dangerous and demanding. I know we all appreciate what our LPD team does for the community.

While May is a special time for officers across the nation, it is also “business as usual” for the officers, who are always focused on keeping everyone safe. Locally, the Lakewood Police Department (LPD) continues to provide some excellent innovations in adding to the ways they approach police work. I’ve spoken before about things like our de-escalation and crisis intervention training, but LPD’s leadership refuses to rest on their laurels and continue bringing new ideas to their work.

Recently, LPD announced the introduction of the Safe Place Program, which partners with local Lakewood businesses willing to place the “Safe Place” sticker in their window. This allows anyone who is experiencing harassment or threats to step inside, contact police, and stay safe until officers arrive. The program is aimed at those who are frequently victims of targeted threats and violence such as our LGBTQ community. Our officers will be contacting businesses, and those interested will receive training from LPD. The Safe Place Program originated with the Seattle Police Department, and a number of others across the U.S. and beyond have begun to integrate it. I’m proud of our police department for being one of the first in the State of Ohio to adopt this program, and I urge local businesses to consider joining the effort. I know it will make a difference.

LPD also recently was awarded a significant grant from the Community West Foundation to purchase a large number of automated external defibrillators (AEDs), ensuring that all officers patrolling our streets will have one in their vehicle. This adds to our officers already carrying items such as NARCAN/Naloxone spray for overdose victims to help our safety forces be prepared for anything. I want to thank the Community West Foundation for its generosity and support and our LPD leadership for pursuing this opportunity.

As we all go about our business this week, I encourage you to think about the service the brave and dedicated men and women of our Lakewood Police Department provide to us, day-in and day-out. If you see one of our officers out and about in the next few days, consider giving them an extra word of thanks during this special week. I know they will appreciate it.

Volume 19, Issue 10, Posted 3:10 PM, 05.17.2023