HANOVER TWP. — The grounds of the municipal building were abuzz on Saturday with the sights and sounds of a child safety fair, which was sponsored by the Hanover Township Neighborhood Crime Watch.
Members of the police department were on hand to support the effort and provide information to area youngsters.
“Often youngsters are afraid of emergency vehicles not realizing that they provide help to those in need,” said paramedic Jenn Mooney. “We give them a chance to look around the ambulance to alleviate those fears.”
The event, filled with both fun and learning, also gave area youngsters the chance to tour a township firetruck and school bus.
Mooney said many youngsters especially enjoy the monitoring equipment, allowing them to see and hear their own heart beats.
Volunteer Dale Malone was on hand to explain school-bus safety, reminding young attendees to always stay seated when the vehicle is in motion to allow drivers to concentrate on safe driving.
The youngsters’ favorite part of the event appeared to be a “puppy patrol” demonstration by township police canine, Ado.
Ado demonstrated his ability to detect drugs under the direction of Canine Officer Mark Stefanowicz.
“Police dogs are carefully trained to do a job,” said Stefanowicz. “While a dog is active with a police department, they too are focused on being vigilant and professional.”
Wyoming Valley Alcohol and Drug Services Prevention Specialist Jessica Budzak was on hand to pass out information and encourage attendees to be informed regarding addictions, including alcohol, drugs and gambling.
Information was also provided to parents, encouraging them to be aware of signs of drug and alcohol use.
Police Officer John VanWhy provided an opportunity to youngsters to obtain a set of their fingerprints to be retained by their family in a case of emergency.
Darlene Davis, Crime Watch president, said the group had been organized because of a need of the community.
“Although Hanover Township is perceived as a safe area, the problems that we do have need to be addressed,” said Davis. “Cooperation of area residents is essential in addressing possible issues.”
Refreshments were available, including pizza and baked goods. A basket raffle and flea market were held to raise money to support crime watch efforts.
When asked his favorite part of the event, Brent Shurmanek, 11, said, “the pizza.”
Township Manager Sam Gusto said the event reflected the township’s concern for keeping young residents safe.
Gusto’s daughter, Stella Rose, especially enjoyed the face painting, donning a bright rainbow on her cheek.
The Hanover Township Neighborhood Crime Watch meets at 7 p.m. every second Wednesday at the Hanover Township Fire Department Breslau Hose Company Station 5. All Hanover township residents are welcome to attend.