Police Captain Kelvan Kearse builds positive relationships with Windsor's youth

By Calla Vassilopoulos - Staff Writer
Windsor - posted Fri., Jul. 5, 2013
Windsor Police Captain Kelvan Kearse encourages student-athletes to set high expectations academically and athletically in order to improve. Photo by Calla Vassilopoulos.
Windsor Police Captain Kelvan Kearse encourages student-athletes to set high expectations academically and athletically in order to improve. Photo by Calla Vassilopoulos.

Growing up in a large family with a mother, father and nine siblings, there were always people at Windsor Police Captain Kelvan Kearse's house. He remembered his mother cooking for anyone who came to the house, whether it was relatives or friends. Kearse feels that his own caring nature is the result of his upbringing.

As a well-known police officer and resident of the community, Kearse has extended the large family environment to include student athletes he coaches, children he has read to, and even the people he has arrested. Some may see him and his family and think he only has two children, but he said he has about “500 kids” from the relationships he has built through the years.

“He has done a tremendous amount of stuff for our community,” said Windsor Police Chief Kevin Searles. “He speaks to the senior citizens group and he is on the board of directors for the Police Athletic League. He is constantly assisting the community a great deal, not just doing his job.”

When Kearse was a sergeant, he was in charge of the school operation, in which the police department put three officers in the schools to provide knowledge and security to students and staff. While overseeing the program, Kearse created strong relationships, which he continued to maintain through the years, according to Searles.

Kearse, the Windsor High School boys' track coach, and girls' track coach Ron Wilson ask students each year to list three academic goals and three athletic goals. The purpose of the list is to challenge the student-athletes and help them to help themselves to improve. This year, there were 11 All-Academic team members, which means the students made honor roll and played a varsity sport, according to Kearse.

“On our team, you start to adopt the role of a father figure, to big brother, counselor,” said Kearse. “I have received calls from kids at 2:30 in the morning for different problems they were having, from problems they are having at home, to boyfriend/girlfriend problems to legal problems. It's a 24/7 responsibility, the relationships you develop with these kids.”

This year, Kearse and Wilson have decided to conduct a track and field camp to spread awareness of the sport. The camp will run July 22 through Aug. 2 and will teach campers the fundamentals of the sport, including jumping, hurdling, javelin-throwing and other techniques. Campers will have the opportunity to compete in two races in Manchester.

Whether he is reading to younger students in class, coaching, or working with youth to resolve legal matters, the community knows Kearse as a mentor. Kearse has consistently worked with other officers to reach out to those he has arrested, asking them how to avoid further legal trouble in the future. He said he has even driven some to find a job and provided others with resources for drug or alcohol rehabilitation.

“You have to put yourself in a position where you are being a positive role model for them and helping them to succeed in whatever it is that they are doing,” said Kearse.

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