5-year-old’s letter to police shows never too young to make difference

Posted at 1:31 PM, Jul 17, 2014
and last updated 2014-07-17 15:34:50-04

WESTLAKE, Ohio — If you doubt that one person can make a difference, you haven’t met 5-year-old Presley Keeton of Westlake.

She was concerned about safety in her neighborhood and a letter she wrote to police got an immediate response.

Like most children, Presley likes to play outside.

WJW-TV reports that she didn’t always feel safe outside her house on Bassett Rd.

Sometimes she sees cars pass by going faster than the posted 25 mph speed limit.

So concerned, she decided to write a letter to the police.

Her reason: “because they stop people from speeding,” she said.

She invited police to come to her street and see the problem for themselves.

Presley's letter to police - WJW

Presley’s letter to police – WJW

The letter was rather convincing. “It was a picture of the road and every car was going above the speed limit. One car was going 89,” Presley said.

Her Dad said the letter was entirely Presley’s idea to write.

“When she decided to do it, I thought there’s no better person to kind of get their attention than a 5-year-old,” Zach Keeton said. “If a 5-year-old notices that it’s a problem, then it’s probably a pretty big issue.”

Presley was expecting a letter in return; instead Officer Tony Lavolpa come to her house Wednesday ready to catch speeders on her street.

“It is extremely infrequent for a 5-year-old to communicate with us and we thought this would be a good opportunity to maybe make a friend and also address the complaint that she made,” Westlake Police Capt. Guy Turner said.

Within an hour, Officer Lavolpa did catch some speeders on the street.

“He stopped seven or eight,” Presley said.

Zach Keeton is proud of what his daughter accomplished with her letter.

“I think Presley is a wonderful example of showing that it doesn’t matter how old you are that you make a difference,” he said.

Presley said her street is safer but “there is still more speeders to catch,” she said.

By Maria Scali