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D.A.R.E. officer to lead city emergency preparedness planning

Jennifer Franklin -
Jennifer Franklin
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D.A.R.E. officer Jennifer Franklin has been named as the city’s new emergency preparedness officer and will begin her duties after her last D.A.R.E. class graduates in June.

Franklin, an 18-year veteran with the Island police force, said she is looking forward to the change. She was scheduled to rotate out of her D.A.R.E. position after serving for the past six years. D.A.R.E. officers typically serve five years.

“I love patrol, but I also love to teach, and this allows me to continue that,” Franklin said of her future duties.

Police Chief Ed Holmes said Franklin was selected to be the new emergency preparedness officer, or EPO, because she has a history with the Island’s program. In 1993 she helped start the city’s neighborhood preparedness and container programs. She has also received formal training in emergency management and preparedness, emergency management volunteers, tactical management for supervisors, media relations and crime prevention.

“She has given countless community presentations and has also attended classes in emergency management,” said Holmes.

Franklin joined the Mercer Island Police force in 1990 after serving four years in the U.S. Army. She grew up in Bellevue and attended Sammamish High School.

The City Council recently approved the new emergency preparedness officer position after the city’s former, part-time emergency preparedness coordinator, Rebecca Clark, took a job in Bellevue. City administration decided to create the new position within the police department. One of Franklin’s secondary duties will be crime prevention. This position will also be rotated in about five years.

While another policeman will later be named as the new D.A.R.E. officer for the next school year, Franklin said she will miss it. In charge of D.A.R.E., she graduated about 2,000 Island youths each year.

“It’s going to be hard to leave the kids,” she said.

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