Police inviting public to chat, learn at forum

Continuing a commitment to community policing, the Kennett Square Borough and Kennett Township police departments are partnering to present a Public Safety Forum.

The Kennett Township Police Department has been operating since

The Kennett Township Police Department has been operating since 2004.

The debut event – the first in a series – will take place in the lower atrium of the Genesis Healthcare building at 101 East State Street in downtown Kennett Square on Tuesday, Oct. 11, starting a 7 p.m.

The forum aims to enable police leaders to present community safety issues where the public can freely discuss their thoughts and concerns about all aspects of public safety. Together, both departments provide public safety service to more than 15,000 residents daily. As a result, the relationships between the departments and the public they serve are critical to providing effective health and safety services, said a joint press release from both departments.

Addressing a recent Kennett Township meeting, Police Chief Lydell E. Nolt said the event would offer the public an opportunity to ask questions and learn about how the departments operate. “This is not a new concept, but it’s new for the township and the borough,” he said.

Nolt said the forum would be held several times a year at different venues throughout the community with each event highlighting a public-safety issue followed by questions and discussion from the public. Light refreshments will be served.

“More frequent and meaningful dialogue between the communities and the police departments is imperative,” said a joint press release from Nolt and Kennett Square Police Lt. William T. Holdsworth.

Holdsworth took over as acting chief following the resignation this past summer of Chief Edward A. Zunino, well-known in law-enforcement circles as a veteran practitioner of community policing.

The Kennett Square Borough Police Department dates back about 100 years.

The Kennett Square Police Department dates back more than 100 years.

During the past year, the borough and township police departments have participated in multiple collaborations, ranging from an initiative to reduce overweight truck traffic in the region and a National Night Out observance.

On Tuesday, Oct. 11, FBI agent Charles Dayoub will address the audience regarding he FBI's role in providing assistance to local communities as well as protecting them proactively from outside threats. Both police chiefs will also make presentations.

Members of the audience will have an opportunity to ask questions, and they can even submit them in advance to KTPD@kennett.pa.us or hand them to the moderator – former Magisterial District Judge Daniel Maisano – at the forum.

Holdsworth said his main hope for the forum is keeping the lines of communication open between the police and the public.

“We want to assure the public that we are here to work with them and continue to grow in our ways of exchanging information,” he said. “It also provides us an opportunity to go over some specific topics such as crime prevention as it pertains to identity theft and recent scams we have seen throughout the area.”

The Kennett Square Police Department, which was founded more than 100 years ago, has always endorsed community policing as a method of operation. The department operates 24 hours a day, 365 days per year. Holdsworth, who has more than 19 years of police experience, was promoted to lieutenant in July and placed in charge of the department while a search for Zunino’s replacement is underway.

The Kennett Township Police Department was founded in 2004 and in conjunction with the Pennsylvania State Police provides 24-hour police coverage. Nolt, a 15-year veteran of law-enforcement, was promoted to chief in 2015.

For more information about the Public Safety Forum, call 610-388-2874, ext. 124, or email ktpd@kennett.pa.us

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