SHU to Host 2nd Annual 'Jail N' Bail' to Benefit Special Olympics
An all-points bulletin has been issued on the Sacred Heart University community so the Department of Public Safety and other law enforcement officials can get their man, or woman - all in the name of charity.
The second annual Jail N’ Bail will take place on Wednesday, April 6, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and will raise money for Special Olympics Connecticut. Public Safety Officer John Kichinko, who is organizing the event, has a fundraising goal of $20,000. He believes the students and faculty and other staff will rise to the challenge. In its inaugural year, Jail N’ Bail brought in about $13,000 for Special Olympics, the games for which used to take place on campus. Kichinko admits that he wouldn’t mind seeing the games return to SHU in the future. Special Olympics provides training and athletic competition in a variety of sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities.
Kichinko has enlisted the participation of the Fairfield Police Department, Connecticut State Police, the Fairfield University Department of Public Safety, the state Department of Corrections, as well as the Bridgeport, Stratford and Trumbull police departments. Special Olympians and representatives from the organization also will be partaking. “The partnership is phenomenal,” says Kichinko, who is the assistant supervisor of the day shift. The sorority, Theta Phi Alpha, also is participating.
With the success of the first year and lessons learned from it, Kichinko says he is bringing out all the “bells and whistles.” In addition, the state police will bring to campus its B.A.T. Mobile – Breath Alcohol Testing Mobile Unit – that will be used to raise alcohol awareness. The command center has technology that allows state troopers to give safety presentations. “Anything that helps,” says Kichinko, about educating the student body about alcohol abuse and driving under the influence.
But the primary focus on April 6 is Jail N’ Bail. During the event, “warrants” will be issued on students and faculty, who will be “arrested” and “jailed.” SHU public safety officers, with the help of the members of the participating police departments, then will bring the arrestees to the staging area – set up on the patio behind the main dining hall – and have them face a panel of judges. The judges – a series of them who will volunteer their time in shifts throughout the day – will review the warrant and set bail based on the charges. Among the judges Kichinko has drafted are Jim Barquinero, vice president of the Department of Enrollment Planning and Student Affairs; Rob Hardy, vice president of the Department of Human Resources; Phil McCabe, vice president for Finance; Michael Iannazzi, interim vice president of Institutional Advancement; Gary McNamara, chief of the Fairfield Police Department; Todd Pelazza, the director of Public Safety at Fairfield University; and Jim Honis, the deputy chief of the Bridgeport Police Department.
Those offenses can be anything from missing class to having a bad hair day to displaying a bad attitude. Once bail is levied, the arrested individual will be put in a “jail cell,” from which he or she will call friends and family to raise the money to be released. All proceeds will go to Special Olympics.
Warrants, which are $5 each, can be filled out in advance of the event or throughout the day. Kichinko says that nothing precludes an arrestee to be nabbed again. He also is selling “get out of jail free” cards for $100 each that can be obtained through the public safety office. He also has made arrangements to have cameras in the jail area so the event and the bail efforts of the arrested are streamed all day on the Special Olympics website, www.soct.org. That special feature also allows people to donate directly to Special Olympics.
Additionally, he notes that the dining facility will be providing food and beverages from its vendors and the SHU Campus Operations staff has been “unbelievable.” Kichinko wanted a bigger jail than that used in 2009 so Campus Operations built it.
He also has planned for all who work the event and those who are jailed will be given T-shirts bearing the Jail N’ Bail logo, and a brand-new banner will be hung displaying the school’s Big Red mascot.
While his enthusiasm is evident, Kichinko is quick to point out that the event “will not be an excuse for students to cut class and will not disrupt the educational process.” Instead, he says, the event “brings the community together.”
Kichinko, who has spent 27 years in public safety and six of them at SHU, says the event holds for him a “twofold joy – watching the faces of the Special Olympians and watching the support from the students. It’s an awesome time.”
For more information on participating in the event and sponsorships, contact Kichinko at 203-371-7995 or firstname.lastname@example.org.