By Stacy Kess
At Delaware’s August First Friday, Delaware Police officers and Delaware County Sheriff’s deputies will be out in a show of force of fun.
The Delaware Police Department and the Delaware County Sheriff’s Office, in conjunction with Main Street Delaware, will host Picnic with the Cops from 6 to 9 p.m. in downtown Delaware.
The event, now several years in the running, is based on a national event on the first Tuesday in August, in which officers join the public for fun.
“From my perspective it was hard to get people out,” said Officer Rita Mendel. “We changed it to First Friday – we worked with Main Street Delaware - for a community outreach.”
Picnic with the Cops will include hot dogs, but will also have fun and games, Mendel said. People will have the opportunity to dunk an officer in a dunk tank, a returning event from two years ago, meet with officers and deputies, play games and see the motorcycle and mounted units from DCSO.
“We participated last year and had an absolute blast,” said DCSO spokesperson Tracy Whited. “It’s a great venue for some of our deputies to pal around with kids in a non-threatening environment.”
She said such events show the other side of law enforcement to children who may only see officers and deputies when someone is in trouble with the law. DCSO deputies will have a cruiser at the ready for children to see and touch, and DCSO will also have child identification kits available to parents.
Mendel said personnel from 911 will also be out at the picnic to help kids learn more about 911.
Children can also participate in the Junior Police Academy and an obstacle course with prizes at the end.
“It’s a really good chance – it’s a lot of fun – to meet officers,” Mendel said.
For more information on Picnic with the Cops, visit www.mainstreetdelaware.com/august-first-friday.html.
Reporter Stacy Kess can be found on Twitter @StacyMKess.