Lanett PD takes major step forward with new public information officer
Published 9:00 am Saturday, March 18, 2023
Lanett Police Chief Denise McCain has grand plans for her department. High on her list is building trust in the community. One of McCain’s first acts was to assign Sgt. Kody Kent as the new public information officer.
“Chief McCain has a very, very good vision for the future for the police department,” Kent said. “She wants our officers highly trained. The officers here are highly motivated as it is.”
The Lanett Police Department has plans to hold more events like Breakfast with a Badge. Their aim is to create trust between the department and the community.
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“Just because we wear a badge like somebody in Philadelphia for example, people will see us like they see them, even though we’re just a small local agency,” Kent said. “So we just try to let people understand that we’re not your big metro cities. We’re a small town. We do the best we can.”
Trust comes from more than just getting to know the officers on the force. In his new position as public information officer, Kent plans to present a transparent department for the community.
“I believe if you’re paying your taxes, and you’re a citizen of Lanett, and we’re a government agency, we should be transparent and let you know what’s going on,” Kent said. “I believe in transparency inside of the department.”
Kent said that citizens can reach out to him by email at firstname.lastname@example.org to report something going on in the community.
The Lanett Police Department also keeps the public up to date on their social media and updates to media outlets as well.
“I give the public information as much as I want the public to give me information,” he said.
Kent also hopes that more interaction with the public will make people more comfortable calling the police in an emergency.
“Somebody may be hesitant to call 911 in certain situations. This is a small agency so it don’t hurt to know who’s working here so you know who you call, like OK, I know these people who are coming there to help me out.”
Under this leadership, the department sees a positive trajectory in their future.
“Right now, it seems like a clear path forward,” Kent said. “The guys that are here, we’re excited to get to work every day.”
Though they are eager to move forward with their plans, the first step is hiring more officers.
“We’re ready to get the ball rolling because the more staff we can get, the more plans we can move forward on,” Kent said.