LaVerkin’s ‘Safety Day’ a success; fun, food, sun and safety enjoyed by hundreds

Hurricane Valley Fire and Rescue show up to support LaVerkin Safety Day Saturday, LaVerkin, Utah, April 28, 2018 | Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News

LAVERKIN — Hundreds gathered for LaVerkin city’s “Safety Day” Saturday, an event organized by police to bring the community together for food, fun and lively activities geared toward safety.

Washington County Sheriff’s Lt. Dave Crouse mans shaved ice booth during LaVerkin Safety Day 2018, LaVerkin, Utah, April 28, 2018 | Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News

The event was held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at LaVerkin City Park, 330 N. Main Street, and hosted food trucks and several vendors that dotted the grass throughout the park, offering churros, shaved ice, treats from Big Chill and many other items.

Officers from the LaVerkin City Police Department, Washington County Sheriff’s Office and the Hurricane Police Department set up posts at various tables along the venue, providing helpful tips and safety information to the public.

Information on programs and products designed to keep children safe lined one of the tables, manned by LaVerkin Police officers Mark Hendry and Tiffany Mower.

Many items were displayed on the duo’s table, including informational brochures, gun locks, child safety internet programs, children’s ID kits provided by Safe Kids Washington County and information about Project Lifesaver.

Hendry said part of his mission Saturday was to raise community awareness of the benefits of Project Lifesaver, a search and rescue program designed for at-risk individuals who are prone to wandering.

Washington County Sheriff’s deputies manning bicycle safety activities at LaVerkin Safety Day event Saturday, LaVerkin, Utah, April 28, 2018 | Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News

Hendry added that he “just had a ball” with the kids that visited his table, the highlight of his day.

More than 50 kids participated in bicycle safety activities at a venue that included a bike course marked with safety cones, a program organized by Washington County Sheriff’s deputies with the off-highway vehicle education program.

Deputies Clint Whitney, Kelly Ramer and Tyler Gowers assisted numerous children through various safety activities throughout the day.

While making their way through the different stations set up by the deputies, the youth learned about helmet usage, bicycle handling and control, the importance of being seen by motorists and basic safety strategies.

Free bicycle registration was also offered during the event. Once a bike is registered, its description, owner details and other identifying information can be relayed to officers throughout Washington County, which can help if the bike is lost or stolen, Whitney said.

Intermountain Life Flight lands in the middle of LaVerkin City Park for Safety Day 2018, LaVerkin, Utah, April 28, 2018 | Photo courtesy of the LaVerkin Police Department, St. George News

Whitney’s favorite part of the day was working with the kids, he said, and being involved in something that increases their safety in a relaxed atmosphere where they can have fun.

The trio of deputies performed safety checks and small repairs on bicycles and provided helmets to many children.

“We even gave a couple of kids helmets who didn’t bring their bike today,” Whitney said, “just so they’d have them.”

The event also provided an opportunity for the youth to see a different side of law enforcement, Whitney said, where the kids can have a good time, learn safety tips and “even see their bikes being tuned up by police.”

In the midst of the community occasion, a red and white helicopter could be seen hovering above LaVerkin. Minutes later, the Intermountain Life Flight chopper landed in the middle of the park in a show of support for the cause.

“The helicopter landed but then the crew got called out, so they had to take off pretty quickly,” LaVerkin Police Sgt. Amber Crouse said.

A drive-up car seat checkpoint was also set up where parents could have seats inspected by safety personnel, child seat safety coordinator Heather Hallman said.

“We make sure the seats are safe, are correctly installed and are a proper fit for the child,” Hallman said. “We also check for any recalls on a particular brand of car seat.”

LaVerkin Police officer Mark Hendry mans table with information on Project Life Saver for Safety Day 2018, LaVerkin, Utah, April 28, 2018 | Photo courtesy of the LaVerkin Police Department, St. George News

Hallman added that car seats are available at no charge if needed, thanks to a grant from AAA.

LaVerkin City Animal Control staff was on-site providing animal licensing for LaVerkin residents’ pets. All animal licensing fees were waived, an offer that was valid during the safety day event only.

Vendor booths could also be found scattered across the park offering handcrafted dolls and other items created by The Yarn Ball, Tupperware products, Senegence skin care products and Lip Sense.

LaVerkin Police Department, Hurricane Police Department, Hurricane Valley Fire and Rescue, Washington County Sheriff’s Office, Intermountain Life Flight and other agencies and vendors were involved with and supported Saturday’s event.

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