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Safety Forces Fair: Promotes Child Safety

NCJ Number
Law and Order Volume: 51 Issue: 8 Dated: August 2003 Pages: 110-113
Jim Weiss; Mickey Davis
Date Published
August 2003
4 pages
This article describes the planning and features of the Safety Forces Fair, a citywide public-safety and crime-prevention education fair sponsored by the police and fire departments of Independence, OH.
The 2003 fair, which was the third annual fair, focused on the promotion of child safety. The fair began with a parade composed of new and collector fire engines and police vehicles. Overhead light bars flashed in cadence as the Cleveland Firefighters Memorial Pipes and Drums Band marched to the fair site. The fair was held at the community center, which is the location for recreation areas, city hall, the police and fire departments, and the Playground and Vehicle Safety Town. The latter attraction is the model for northeastern Ohio with its playground and driver and pedestrian safety themes; its lights are left on at night to make it look like a small city. The fair itself consisted of exhibits and activities that focused on some aspect of safety for children. A fire safety house scaled down to children's size was used to teach children how to exit their houses in case of fire. The U.S. Secret Service had a booth for Operation Safe Kids, which is a program that encourages parents to record forensic information about their children that can be used by investigators should the child be missing. Members of the Southwest Enforcement Bureau's Tactical Unit and Bomb Disposal Unit had a booth that addressed the many types of incidents to which they respond in their efforts to protect citizens. The city's joint police-fire department dispatchers manned the Emergency Medical Dispatchers display, which was used to explain how the dispatching process has changed over the years. Some advice from the planners of the fair to others who might undertake similar fairs are to allow time for advance planning; get various organizations involved; work out funding concerns with the city and volunteer organizations; and have a timeline organizational chart that indicates who should be notified and when.