In May 1990, Safety City opened in Lexington, Ky. thanks to the generosity of many supporters in the Lexington community including Mayor Scotty Baesler. During its 20 years of operation, the program taught thousands of children about road, car, personal and stranger-related safety. The program ceased full operations in 2009 and was missed among the many teachers and students it had served.
In 2014, Lexington Police Chief Ronnie Bastin, Eastern Kentucky University President Michael Benson, Dean Allen Ault from the College of Justice and Safety at Eastern Kentucky University, and Lexington Mayor Jim Gray were among many leaders who collaborated to make the program operational again through a newly formed partnership. Eastern Kentucky University’s College of Justice and Safety and the Lexington Police Department worked together to renovate and update the facility, reopening in October 2014.
Through this partnership, Eastern Kentucky University took over the daily management of Safety City and student instruction. Lexington Police Department remains involved in Safety City by providing infrastructure support and part-time student instruction. Dean Kappeler of EKU College of Justice and Safety states “The Safety City partnership between Eastern Kentucky University’s College of Justice and Safety and the Fayette Urban County Government provides safety education for school-aged children that will enhance safety across Central and Eastern Kentucky.”
Beginning in 2021 the Lexington Police Department has resumed the daily management and student instruction once again and plans to continue the rich history of the program to serve the many supporters of our great community.