Police, Firefighters, And Kids Share Summer Afternoons In GV Parks
July 7, 2011
One day a week throughout the summer, Golden Valley police and firefighters head out to a regional park and spend time with the children from the neighborhood. On a recent June afternoon in Hampshire Park, about 40 kids showed up to hear a lecture on fireworks safety, eat pizza, and play in the spray of a fire truck hose.
“We talk to the kids. We give them safety lectures. We bring ice cream and pizza, and we all have a good time,” says police Sgt. Denny Arons. “We want people to get to know us, so we become a trusted partner in the community.”
The Golden Valley Police and Fire Departments also make a point to visit areas with multiple-housing units with families in need.
“We want to give kids opportunities to have a fun-filled afternoon with no strings attached and no money out of their own pocket,” Arons says.
Police Chief Stacy Altonen says the strength of a Police Department depends on the connection it has with its community.
Educational efforts and outreach keep people’s eyes more open and sharp, helping them spot suspicious activity, Altonen explains. The efforts also strengthen people’s connections with the Police Department and neighbors, leaving less room for criminals.