Neighborhood Watch Fair for Fun and Safety

girl and dad with armored vehicle_IMG_6170_By Debbie WolfeHedy Gudmundsdottir, a fourth grader from Brandon, looks out one of the swivel gun ports in the side of the St. Petersburg Police Department’s armored SWAT team vehicle as her dad, Gummi Sig, checks out a hand grip at the first Gulfport Neighborhood Watch and Public Safety Fair Saturday, June 18 next to Clymer Park in Gulfport. “It’s cool,” she said.

Gulfport recently hired Richard Grimberg as part of the police department to be the volunteer coordinator who manages the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) and Neighborhood Watch groups. His new position is designed to maximize area “resources so [the groups] can be more successful,” he said. Grimberg is working closely with Gulfport Police Commander Joshua D. Stone who specializes in crime prevention efforts.

“Lock your doors,” said Stone. This is his key tip, based on crime reports, for staying safe. “We need to provide more information to citizens about crime trends including methods to protect themselves.”

The fair’s festive family atmosphere included free hot dogs and cold water provided by CERT, and multiple area educational groups and agencies, a bicycle rodeo and helmet check designed to teach children rules of the road and safety, tours of police and fire vehicles, and an interactive quiz game that taught kids how to protect themselves from sexual predators. Throughout the fair, prizes for young contestants included certificates of completion, beaded wristbands, stickers and reflective zipper pulls.

 

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