By Joe Beck
The Woodstock Police Department is preparing to host its Third Annual Community Safety Day from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. at the W.W. Robinson Elementary School, 1231 Susan Ave.
Chief Eric Reiley described the free event as the culmination of a year-long effort involving the entire department and many individuals, businesses and organizations around the county.
"We worked pretty diligently to get to where we are today," Reiley said.
He added that many of the activities are designed to raise safety awareness among children.
"I can't think of another event like this in the region where kids can come and learn how important safety is and have a great time doing it," Reiley said.
The event will feature tethered hot air balloon rides by Valley Ballooning from 9 a.m. until 12 p.m., weather permitting.
Dogs trained in drug, arson, and bomb detection and tracking are among numerous police demonstrations planned.
Other activities will include helicopter landings at 10 a.m., 10:30 a.m. and 11 a.m., and a fire truck pull competition at 12:30 p.m.
The police and local pharmacies are also planning to hold a prescription drug take back.
"Everybody who wants to bring prescription or over the counter pills that they have in their cabinets, they can drop those off, no questions asked, and we'll dispose of them properly," Reiley said.
Officer Mike Hottle, who played a prominent role in organizing safety day, praised the help he received from sponsoring businesses. Hottle said money raised from general donations and events such as the fire truck pull competition will go toward the Special Olympics.
"I'm so proud of everyone, that in addition to providing law enforcement services to the people of Woodstock, we can provide something of this magnitude," Hottle said.
More details are available at the police department's safety day web page, www.Woodstockpd.com/safetyday.
Contact staff writer Joe Beck at 540-465-5137 ext. 142, or firstname.lastname@example.org