Margaret Wilson said she has been bringing her children to Brookfield Safety Night for eight years, because there is a wealth of information for kids about staying away from drugs, being safe at home and making wise decisions.
The fact that her daughters, 5-year-old twins and a 16-year-old, can interact with policemen in a friendly atmosphere is a plus, the Sharon woman said.
“Most young people, like mine, they’re scared of the cops,” Wilson said at the Oct. 24 event.
Safety Night not only allows the community to meet with policemen and firefighters, but also representatives of county agencies, local businesses and township service groups.
Patricia Lopez of Masury said she learned something about smoke detectors.
“I didn’t know you should put one in your basement,” she said, calling Safety Night “very informative.”
Lopez’s son and grandson enjoyed carving pumpkins and the K9 demonstration, she said.
“You can’t beat the food,” she added, speaking of the free hamburgers, hot dogs and cookies.
Although it was the 20th Safety Night, Capt. Tony Villanueva of the Trumbull-Ashtabula Group Law Enforcement Task Force set up a booth for the first time.
“It’s an impressive turnout to see all these young kids,” he said.
While TAG’s focus is on rooting out the drug trade in the two counties, Villanueva’s message went well beyond saying no to drugs. He promoted healthy bodies and minds, self-esteem, setting and working toward goals and working hard.
“I appreciate the opportunity to talk with people, especially young people with questions,” said Villanueva, who displayed some of the protective gear he wears during the more dangerous part of his job.
Although Safety Night is not supposed to begin until 6 p.m., it’s not uncommon to see people starting to come at 5:30, said Police Chief Dan Faustino. This year, the crowd formed at about 5:45, he said.
“The crowds never let us down,” he said.
Fire Chief David Masirovits, who began work Oct. 1, was new to Safety Night.
“This is amazing,” he said. “The community support is unbelievable.”
As he watched the goings-on, he started coming up with ideas that he would like to try for next year, he said.
“I’ve got some things I’d like to see done,” he said.