KALAMAZOO, MI (WKZO AM/FM) – As they look to improve safety at Kalamazoo’s downtown bus and train station, the Kalamazoo County Transportation Authority and Central County Transportation Authority is requesting a full-time police presence at the transportation center
The call comes two weeks after a random shooting on a bus left three people injured. The man who did the shooting was later killed by Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety officers.
KDPS Chief Vernon Coakley Monday said in a letter to the transportation board that his department is committed to working collaboratively with Kalamazoo County Sheriff’s Office and transportation authority to provide a safe environment at the transportation center, but Coakley did not indicate if the department would provide officers to patrol the transit center.
In his letter, Coakley said, “KPDS, like many other law enforcement agencies across the country, continues to struggle with recruitment and retention of officers, which presents challenges in addressing all of the community’s needs.”
According to WWMT-TV, there are currently 21 openings within the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety. KDPS ended a partnership to provide security at the Kalamazoo Transportation Center February 2020 due to staffing issues. The Kalamazoo County Sheriff’s Office provided security at the Transit Center but terminated its contract September 6, 2021 due to staffing and budget issues.