ELIZABETHTOWN — Ask any law enforcement officer, and he may very well say that his pet peeve is parents telling their children that the “police are going to get you” for misbehaving. That, combined with media’s portrayal of officers often has children running to the hills when they see law enforcement, a reality that officers have to deal with, and one that the Elizabethtown Police Department is doing something about.
“We want to let officers interact with children of the community and the county so they become a familiar face with them,” said Ellen Bennett, a spokesperson for the department.
To that end, the police department is hosting its 11th annual Kids Appreciation Day on Saturday.
Bennett said the event will include a presentation on the new skateboarding ramp by Daville Skate Shop in Fayetteville, a demonstration by the department’s K-9, face painting and pony rides. In addition, Bounce Brothers will be supplying bounce houses for children to enjoy.
“It’s going to be a full day,” said Bennett, “but a good day.”
A DJ will be playing music for entertainment, and Kids Appreciation T-shirts in both children and adult sizes will be available for purchase, along with snow cones, funnel cakes, and cotton candy. Big Mo’s Barbeque will be selling pulled pork sandwiches, or kids can get pizza or hot dogs. Carnival-type foods such as fried candy bars and fried cookies will also be available. Bicycles with helmets will be given away as well.
In addition to all the goodies, a couple of competitions will be taking place. A home-run derby and a free-throw competition will top of the day, with trophies going to the winner of each.
“We usually have anywhere from 300 to 700 people come out for the event,” said Bennett.
Fingerprinting kits will be available for parents wanting to take advantage of that opportunity for their children, and the fire department, the sheriff’s office, the highway patrol, and other agencies will have information to give out.
“You don’t have to be a kid to come,” said Bennett, “just a kid at heart.”
Kids Appreciation Day will take place from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. behind the Elizabethtown Town Hall.
Chrysta Carroll can be reached by calling 910-862-4163.