Logansport seeking ‘Safe Place’ certification, program

Last Updated on April 19, 2017 by cassnetwork

A nationwide initiative aimed at improving public safety through community networking is expected to be launched here later this year.

The “Safe Place” program, recognizable through yellow placards similar to yield signs that read “Safe Place” with an arm-wrapping logo, is expected to be part of the city’s public safety plans by the start of the upcoming school year.

Mayor Dave Kitchell said the timing for the program’s reintroduction in Logansport is right, and he is working on securing certification with the national initiative to implement it locally.

“One of the reasons we want to do this is the tragedy in Delphi that claimed two young lives in broad daylight,” Kitchell said. “We want to deter child predators from ever doing that here, but we also want to give the community an opportunity to help us make neighborhoods stronger, allow young people to spend more active time outdoors, and in many cases, walk to or from school.”

Kitchell said he has discussed the concept with Logansport School Superintendent Michele Starkey, who is supportive of the program. One Landis Elementary School employee, Griselda Gonzalez, and First Lady Julie Kitchell will spearhead the implementation through the national initiative.

The mayor said Supt. Starkey’s own home was designated a “Safe Place” when the program was previously introduced in Logansport many years ago.

“Logansport schools will be shifting grade levels this fall so that all sixth-graders will be attending Columbia Middle School and all seventh- and eighth-graders will be attending Lincoln,” Kitchell said. “As the Logansport’s students and their families make the transition with this change, it’s a good time to promote additional safety in areas where students may be walking home after school, from a practice or to the doctor’s office or a friend’s house. If this makes pedestrian safety better for students, it’s worth the time and investment.”

A board overseeing the program will be appointed.  Kitchell said local residents who want to participate in the program will have to be willing to submit to a criminal background check. The mayor is hopeful that businesses, churches and retirees will be willing to offer their volunteer support for the program.

SOURCE: News release from Logansport Mayor Dave Kitchell