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Safetytown Celebrates 36 Years
Posted on: 06/14/2013
By  Andy Rex
This year’s Safetytown officially kicked off with a luncheon yesterday at the Lafayette Hotel.
 
The program, now in its 36th year, is for children to learn the basics of how to stay safe.
 
Safetytown Co-Chair Cheryl Cook says that the program has grown tremendously over the years.
 
“Safetytown, when we started, was one 1/2 day session and we served 100 students" Cook says.  "The next year, we doubled in size.  So, it became a morning and afternoon session and we served 200.  As the population was growing and there were no other Safetytowns in the area, the word spread.  Soon, instead of needing four teachers, we needed five.  Now, there are many satellites of Safetytown set up in neighboring communities, so we’re back to four teachers.  We have a 9-12 session, and an afternoon session from 1 to 4.  We serve about 200 children every year.”
 
Washington County Sheriff Larry Mincks spoke with WMOA News about why the program is so important from a law enforcement point of view.
 
“We’re dealing with the little ones," Mincks explains.  "It gives us a chance to interact with them and them to know us, because sometimes they do have a fear of law enforcement.  You can actually talk to them and show them how to cross the street and what you need to be careful of or afraid of.  It’s a program that we, at the sheriff’s office, have supported as long as I can remember.  We will continue to, and I am very happy to be a part of it.” 
 
The classes start on Monday at Harmar School.
 
Interviews conducted by Austin James and Jamey Styer.
 
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