To operate more efficiently, the City of Kalamazoo's Fire and Police departments were consolidated into the Department of Public Safety in 1982 and officers were cross-trained for better and quicker response.
Economic development within the City looked for creative ways to counter this trend. Investment in downtown became a priority, led by the City's Downtown Development Authority. Projects included the redevelopment of the Arcadia Commons area featuring a new home for the Kalamazoo Valley museum and an outdoor festival site to draw citizens downtown. The Kalamazoo Center, a hotel/convention facility opened by the City in 1975, was sold and eventually renovated extensively as a Radisson hotel.
Automobile traffic was reintroduced on the downtown mall. A third campus for Western Michigan was built in the southwest corner of the City, and this new Business and Technology Research Park was a joint effort of the state and local governments.
Kalamazoo also looked to reuse the sites of its abandoned factories. Brownfield sites utilized federal and state dollars to clean up highly polluted areas creating attractive packages of incentives for new businesses to reinvest in the area. Several of these sites were located in the downtown districts.
In 2005, Kalamazoo Public Schools drew national attention by announcing the Kalamazoo Promise. This philanthropically funded program promises college tuition, up to 100%, to graduates of the district's high schools with appropriate grades.
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