A crime-prevention movie was filmed in Kalamazoo.
Iva Dee Timmis became the first female detective at KPD.
A commissioner suggested combining the police and fire department, but the idea never developed.
One patrol officer was added to the Youth Bureau.
The City of Kalamazoo sold a building known as Corporation Hall (J. C. Penney Co.) for $300,000.
Chief James Slavin took over as chief. The first in-service training course for supervisors was conducted in 1957, which consisted of 30 class hours and dealt with the problems and functions of supervision.
City police purchased an Edsel — ahead of the times?
The department moved to 215 W. Lovell Street headquarters, which was built for about $800,000.
Starting police officer wages increased from $4,464 to $5,304 per year.
Police officers and firemen were allowed to retire at 60 without penalty. The previous age was 65.
Newly elected Mayor Paul Schrier was quoted after the election: “We must unshackle the hands of our police.”
The Kalamazoo Fire Department went on strike.
KPD had a total of six African-American policemen.
KPD conducted an Advanced Recruit Academy for its own officers.
The department relocated and expanded the area of the communications center.
The City of Kalamazoo ordered police cars.
The court-ordered desegregation plan spurred hostility at Central High on May 7.
State-wide mandatory training for police officers began, and the Kalamazoo Police Department was designated as one of the 12 locations for training.
The PCR department included a focus on: The Citizens Teens, The Police-Community Relations Task Force, The Ride-Along Program, and the Non-Prime Time Program.
Patrol vehicles were now gold in color, and protective screens were installed in the patrol vehicles.
Police officers were allowed to have sideburns and mustaches.
Through the use of various grants and training funds, the department sent many officers through both in-service training and various programs in other locations.
KPD participated in the Metro-Squad, which was a three-county narcotics unit.
Public Service Officers (PSO) was initiated in June under a federal grant. They were responsible for noncriminal calls for service.
PCR complaints were formalized in the handbook, and a recruiting program was established with emphasis on minority and female hiring.
Other new programs included the COPS program (Community Oriented Policing) and the Tele-Serv program.
A community-wide survey was done to measure the public’s perception.
Chief Dean A. Fox retired and John E. Ross was sworn in.
Minor complaints were taken by telephone. New police uniforms were purchased.
A complete modification in the report-writing system was put into place, the S.I.U. (Special Investigation Unit) began, and N.P.O. (Neighborhood Patrol Officers) started up this year.
The Communication Center shifted to civilian staff, except for the supervisor.
The department was involved in a study related to 911 and the central dispatch system.
The Police Department sought women and minority job applicants. The city looked at a combined police/fire department.
A tornado hit downtown Kalamazoo in May, killing five and injuring many. The Civil Defense Preparedness paid off during this event.
The entire General Order system was revamped.
The Major Case Squad was initiated.
A four-day work week was approved; Kalamazoo pondered the possibility of a fire/police combination.
City police resumed the chaplain corps, and 18 police officers received “tentative lay-off notices.”
The Police Department and Fire Department merged after a vote. The police signed the merger agreement on June 19, 1982. The merger created the Public Safety Department where an employee was trained to perform both police/patrol duties and fire suppression and prevention duties. A Public Safety Officer (PSO) would patrol a “district” in a police cruiser and perform all regular patrol functions such as responding to calls for service, traffic, accident investigation, etc. This Patrol PSO would also respond to all fire calls. The cruiser would be equipped with complete firefighting gear, scott air pack, a fire extinguisher and other firefighting tools. The goal of this transition was to reduce the amount of employees in the department. Prior to the merger the department had 383 employees; the goal was to reach an employee level of 344.
A cake marked the city police centennial.
Two police officers received layoff notices.
The emergency number 911 was placed into service in Kalamazoo.
The K-9 Unit was formed.
Public safety was outfitted with in-car computers.
K.V.E.T. (Kalamazoo Valley Enforcement Team) started at a remote site.
Installation of MDT terminals was initiated in patrol cars.
Kalamazoo approved $1.3 million for a public safety radio system.
Kalamazoo Police unveiled new radios, a $1.3 million, 800 MHz trunk-line radio system.
Police #1 precinct was opened at the transportation station.
The evidence room got an overhaul in the amount of $163,656.
A memorial to PSO Cameron P. Kooy was dedicated in Oakwood.