Cops & Kids Day: safety and fun

The Groveport Police Department will host "Cops & Kids Day" on June 8 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the lower parking lot at Groveport Park on Groveport Road.

The event’s goal is to make sure kids know how to stay safe while bicycling.

"Summer’s a busy time and a lot of people are out and about in their cars, but there are also more kids out riding their bikes, which raises the possibilities of accidents," said Groveport Police Officer Carrie Clites. "We want to teach kids safety awareness by having them learn and obey traffic laws.

Cops & Kids Day is open to kids of all ages who ride bikes. It’s family oriented and a good time for everyone."

Cops & Kids Day is part of the Groveport Police Department’s philosophy of community policing. The event enables kids to get to know their local police officers.

"We want children to be able to recognize and be comfortable in approaching police when they’re in trouble or need help," said Clites. "Kids need to know police officers are their friends and we’re here to help and serve them as well as the adults in the community."

About Cops & Kids Day

At Cops & Kids Day, kids can learn bicycle safety tips and traffic rules by pedaling through "Safetyville,"  a wooden recreation of the streets and buildings in the village of Groveport. In Safetyville kids learn how to read traffic signals and negotiate various road hazards. Safetyville was built by Tyler Swartzlander, with help from his family, and has been a familiar feature of the police department’s bicycle safety program for the past few years. Safetyville features a working traffic signal, railroad crossing, and streetscape with four by eight foot boards depicting buildings in the village.

Other features at the event include: the Lancaster Fire Department’s "smoke house" where kids can learn how to escape from a burning house; a police cruiser competition where kids get to judge the best cruiser; and fingerprinting from the Ohio Attorney General’s office.

A bicycle will be raffled off and bicycle helmets given away while the supply lasts. There will also be other prizes available.

Also participating will be representatives from Three Creeks Metro Park and the Columbus Metropolitan Library as well as police departments from Groveport, Obetz, Madison Township, New Albany, Columbus, the State Highway Patrol, Franklin County Sheriff, and the Columbus Airport. Grant Hospital’s Med Flight helicopter and the Columbus Police helicopter will also be on hand.

Admission to the event is free. For information about Cops & Kids Day, call the Groveport Police Department at 836-5301.

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