WASHINGTON — The second annual “Kids Safety Saturday” took place at the City of Fairfax Police Department on Saturday.
The event gives police officers the chance to teach local children the fundamentals of road safety, Det. Kyle Bruce says.
“We teach them turning signals, hand signals for when they’re operating the bike and what to look out for when they’re on the road,” he says. “And obvious bike safety tips like wearing a helmet, and elbow and knee pads, if you need them.”
The officers also offered bike repairs and inspections, and handed out helmets to some children who couldn’t afford them.
“I thought it was just going to be like a little obstacle course, but this is terrific,” says Nancy DeGrandi, whose 6 year-old son Nathaniel attended the event.
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The children, mainly elementary- and middle school-aged, also learned about skateboarding and pedestrian safety.
Members of the City of Fairfax Fire Department were in attendance to give fire safety lessons.
Police Chief Carl Pardiny says the event is more than just bike safety: It’s about community outreach.
“It’s so important for our officers to be engaged in the community and the community to be engaged with our police officers to get to know us,” Pardiny says. “We’re moms and dads and brothers and sister too. It’s great to have the kids one-on-one with our officers.”
Pardiny says the department hopes to grow the event every year and expand community engagement.