Mayor's Corner: A Holistic Approach To Safety

As the weather begins to warm up, so does our time outside, which allows us to spend more time enjoying our many parks and walking and biking through Lakewood. As Mayor and Safety Director, I think about safety year-round, and it is especially top of mind as things warm up and more people are out and about. I am excited to provide some updates on our holistic approach to safety here in Lakewood.

I am thrilled to share that our neighborhood ambassadors are returning to our parks this spring. Launched in 2023, the Parks Ambassador Program serves our five largest parks. The ambassadors provide a level of safety in addition to our uniformed officers, who will again be adding a parks detail during the warm weather months. We are excited to continue both of these important programs to ensure our parks remain safe and inviting for all users.  

With the aim of enhancing inter-agency communication and bolstering emergency response capabilities, the City of Lakewood has secured new state-of-the-art radios for our police and fire departments, funded through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). These cutting-edge devices boast advanced features facilitating seamless communication not only within their respective departments but also with surrounding public safety agencies. This technological upgrade marks a significant improvement over previous generations, offering a suite of modern enhancements designed to optimize coordination and efficiency during critical situations, ensuring a more effective and coordinated response to emergencies. The radios are scheduled to be in the hands of Lakewood first responders this spring.

We also recently celebrated the graduation of our first Citizens’ Police Academy class in years. This program was paused during COVID and has now returned under the leadership of Chief Kevin Fischer. The Citizens' Police Academy serves as a crucial bridge between law enforcement and the communities they serve, fostering understanding, trust, and cooperation. Through immersive experiences, participants gain insight into the challenges and complexities of modern policing, from crime prevention strategies to crisis response protocols. By demystifying law enforcement practices and encouraging collaboration, the Citizens' Police Academy strengthens community-police relations and empowers citizens to become active partners in building safer, more resilient communities. Twenty-two residents dedicated nine weeks to this experience and recently graduated. Stay tuned for another chance to participate in this terrific program.

And finally, we have been preparing for the eclipse on Monday, April 8th. My administration has been in close touch with neighboring cities as we prepare for an influx of eclipse-seeking visitors. The Lakewood Police Department, Lakewood Fire Department, and the Department of Public Works are well prepared for this historic day. Municipal Buildings will be closed to the public beginning at 12:00 p.m. Please be safe, wear your eclipse glasses, and enjoy this special event in our beautiful city.

Volume 20, Issue 7, Posted 4:24 PM, 04.03.2024