Porterdale holding Public Safety Day

COVINGTON -- The city of Porterdale is inviting everyone to attend its Public Safety Day on Saturday for a first-hand look at how law enforcement operates, as well as giveaways and other fun events.

The event kicks off at 10 a.m. at 2021 Main St. at Memorial Alley and will continue until 5 p.m.

"We're trying to do things for the children. If we can make an impact on the children now, we can change the children for our future," Porterdale Police Officer Sgt. Jason Cripps said, adding that he had first worked at Porterdale Police Department about 10 years ago and now finds himself dealing with some of the same people. "Those who were teens and children then are adults now, so if we can change the children, it will make a difference."

Cripps said his department is working hard, with Chief Wayne Digby at the helm, to become a more professional, full-service department.

"We're trying to change the image of Porterdale Police ... change the professionalism and trying to become a better police department. We have a canine unit, an investigations unit; we're trying to get all the cars to match; and we're sending our officers to a lot of training," Cripps said. "We're having this Public Safety Day to get the community to come out and get to know us and what we have to offer."

The Newton County Sheriff's Office will also be part of Saturday's event.

"We're looking forward to meeting the public and looking forward to answering any questions they might have," said NCSO Community Outreach Officer Cpl. Anthony Washington. The deputy in charge of the NCSO C.H.A.M.P.S. program will also be there to answer questions about the program and greet youngsters.

Cripps said food will be provided by Burnie's Bar-B-Q at a reduced rate and kids can look forward to face painting and plenty of ice cream. As an added treat, two bikes will be given away during the day.

"There will also be other giveaways and kids games for event participants," he said. "A (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) representative will be available to answer questions. Come out and have a great time."

Also, children's ID kits will be handed out.

"It's something for families to keep on hand should a child come up missing," Cripps said.

The Porterdale Fire Department will be on hand and will be joining law enforcement in presenting demonstrations.

Both the NCSO and Porterdale Police canines will be present to greet the public and show off their skills.