Community Invited to Upcoming Imagine Kalamazoo 2025 “Plan It!” Workshops

City of Kalamazoo planning staff have scheduled two public workshops as they continue seeking input for the “Imagine Kalamazoo 2025” Strategic Vision and Master Plan update.

The Northside Association for Community Development will host the first workshop this Tuesday, September 27 and St. Joseph’s Catholic Church will host the second on Thursday, October 27. Both meetings will take place from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. Spanish translation will be available and dinner and children’s activities will be provided at both workshops.

These workshops are part of Imagine Kalamazoo 2025’s “Plan It!” phase, which takes the broader feedback that has been received thus far and aims to identify more specific goals, policies and programs to achieve those goals, and metrics to measure success.

Over 1,400 participants shared their input during the projects initial “Imagine It!” phase either in person at a community event, at a “meeting on the go” with friends, or online at www.imaginekalamazoo.com.

“We have had a great response so far and are excited to start exploring what success looks like and how we get there,” said Rebekah Kik, City Planner for Kalamazoo. “The Strategic Vision and Master Plan guide the City’s policies and decision making, so community feedback is absolutely essential. We want to create a vision that truly reflects our values and can improve the quality of life for everyone in our community.”

The forthcoming Master Plan and Strategic Vision will also guide future budget decisions and capital projects.   

All community stakeholders are encouraged to attend these public workshops and get involved in Imagine Kalamazoo 2025. Individuals who are not at able to attend can share their input online by visiting www.imaginekalamazoo.com.

“Please join us at one of these meetings, share your feedback online, or find us at a community event,” said Kik. “We want to hear from you!”

Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety Among Five Agencies Examined in New Study

The Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety is one of five law enforcement agencies that participated in a recently released study of foot patrols by the Police Foundation. The study, “Engaging Communities One Step at a Time,” examines how different agencies implement foot patrols and aims to provide models to demonstrate how the practice can be utilized by other police agencies.

The Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety was joined by the Cambridge (MA) Police Department, New Haven (CT) Police Department, Evanston (IL) Police Department, and Portland (OR) Police Bureau in the study. Researchers conducted field observations with foot patrol officers from each department to identify regular activities and observe the nature of interactions between officers and community members. Interviews were also conducted with officers at varying ranks within each department and focus groups were convened of citizens served by each agency.

The study identifies the key themes, benefits, and challenges gleaned from the five departments and provides recommendations to departments that may wish to implement a foot patrol strategy in the future. The positive interactions that occur between communities and foot patrol officers are also highlighted.

“Our canvassing program in Kalamazoo has helped us restore the personal connection between our officers and the community they serve,” said Public Safety Chief Jeff Hadley. “Building relationships and trust within the community is absolutely critical in policing, and we are glad to have the opportunity to share our experience and what we’ve learned with other agencies.”

In March 2014, the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety made a commitment to connect with every household in the City. Officers have since visited each residential address in Kalamazoo at least once to introduce themselves, discuss neighborhood issues, and ask for feedback about the department. As a result of the success of the program, officers are currently conducting their second city-wide outreach.

You can read the report here.

City Commission supports efforts to shut down Line 5

During their meeting on September 6, the Kalamazoo City Commission adopted resolution 16-36 supporting the efforts of Michigan legislators to shut down Enbridge Line 5 under the Straits of Mackinac. The potential impact to tourism, our state economy, and our natural environment that a rupture of Line 5 could cause are among the reasons cited in the resolution, as are the age of the pipeline and Enbridge's record of reportable spills, leaks, releases. The rupture of Enbridge Line 6b near Kalamazoo in 2010 allowed nearly one million gallons of tar sands oil to leak before it could be shut down.

Kalamazoo joins a growing list of cities, townships, and counties that have supported efforts to shut down Line 5. Mayor Hopewell will send a letter to Governor Rick Snyder, Attorney General Bill Schuette, our State Representatives, State Senators, and U.S. Senators on behalf of the City Commission calling for swift action. You can read the resolution pdf here (518 KB) .

City of Kalamazoo

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