And just like that, the school summer holiday is over. Students are back in classes, buses and traffic are back, and new student experiences have begun. All the “first day” social media posts have populated the news feeds. Excitement and anxieties are present for students, parents, teachers and school administrators, all looking for success in education.
With the horrific Uvalde tragedy in our recent past, it’s difficult not to see things through a different filter. Recognizing young people are one of the most treasured parts of our lives, we must do all we can to provide safe environments for them to thrive. Our amazing school system goes above and beyond to keep everyone safe. But as with everything else in a community, they can’t do it alone. It takes all of us doing our part to make the difference.
Like many years in the past, our Kennesaw Police Department team took time to make connections with the school leaders in our community prior to the students’ return. We wanted to rekindle all relationships from last spring and let the school administrators and officers know we are with them. During the first weeks of class, we visited the campuses, with the intent to show our support. We have been able to share the new school year excitement with many, and we will make sure to keep our connections strong throughout the year.
One of our biggest challenges during the school year is traffic. Please prepare for more congestion by giving yourself plenty of time to arrive at your destination safely. We will be out doing our part to help keep the roads as safe as possible. Police traffic enforcement is not enjoyable for anyone; we would enjoy voluntary compliance much more.
As we all get used to the new school year, let’s do our part to keep one another as safe as possible. Let’s “see something, say something,” drive safely and stay patient. Together, we can all get an “A.”
Until next time, stay safe.
– Bill Westenberger has served as chief since 2008. He was given the 2019 Kennesaw Citizen of the Year Award.