Crime Prevention Corner: Planning for Virtual Safety Town for Lake students under way

Ron Craig, Crime Prevention/Community Policing Officer

        COVID-19 has turned just about everything upside down this year and has resulted in the cancelation or revision of many area programs and projects.
        The annual Safety Town program that Lake Township Police Department has sponsored for younger students at Lake Local Schools has been no exception.
        Usually taking place in late summer, the virus caused both police and school officials to cancel the program that normally would have taken place at the school. Lake Township Police Chief Mark Hummer decided to take another approach to allow local students the opportunity to get some of the safety information online.
        The department’s school resource officer, Bob Roe, has outlined topics he and Chief Hummer would like to cover in an online version of Safety Town. While the plans for the project are still being formulated, many of the topics that would have been included in the in-person presentation are expected to be included.
        Officer Roe is working with school officials on the project, which will also be available to home-schooled youngsters.
        A local railroad official will be tapped to present a discussion on train safety. Because of the high number of railroad tracks and crossings in the township, railroad safety has always been an important component of the program.          Steve Poiry, currently a part-time officer and a full-time bus driver for Lake Local Schools, will lead a discussion on bus safety. Officer Poiry is the former school resource officer at Lake and was the coordinator for Safety Town for many years.
        No Safety Town presentation would be complete without a Stranger Danger component. This is one of the topics Officer Roe is expecting to be presented by another of the department’s officers.
        Officials from the Lake Township Fire Department will deal with fire safety issues. Ways to include the department’s smokehouse in the presentation are being discussed.
        Gun safety is another topic planned for inclusion in the project. The primary focus of this session is not to teach youngsters how to fire a gun, but rather tips will be given on what a youngster should do if he or she finds or sees one.         Traffic safety will be discussed, including proper ways to cross a street and how to operate a pedestrian crosswalk signal button. In addition, Officer Roe is seeking an official from Toledo Edison to lead a discussion on electrical safety, and in particular what a youngster should do if a downed power line is discovered.
        The program is geared toward preschoolers, but because it is going to be available online, a student of any age could participate.
        Each topic session is expected to be 10-15 minutes long.
        The actual platform for the project is being investigated, but it could be presented through a current website for the police department or some other online avenue. An official announcement on such details is expected to be forthcoming soon.
        This article is a public service from the Community Policing/Crime Prevention Division of the Lake Township Police Department. Township residents may obtain further information on crime prevention and public safety topics by contacting Ron Craig, crime prevention specialist/community policing officer, at 419-481-6354.


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