Recruiting explorers

As part of the new Explorers program in 2018, Lt. J.D. Halsey, pictured here, met with the elementary-aged students to teach children that officers are their friends, rather than people to be feared

PRINCETON — The Princeton City Police Department and Princeton City Fire Department are gearing up for this year’s spring Explorers Program.

Lt. J.D. Halsey, of the police department, is eager to see what this year’s program will bring. The upcoming programming will feature new material as well as a collaboration with the fire department.

“For this spring we’ve expanded what we’re trying to do with the program and we may have more students because of that. We’re going to be outdoors and covering things like campfire safety, animal tracking and things like that,” Halsey said.

Having been involved with the program since its start in March of 2018, Halsey has seen children grow in both their comfort with law enforcement and their safety knowledge.

The program also maintains that children will have the utmost knowledge to ensure their personal safety. Each year officers cover topics such as bicycle safety and more, with fun activities, included to guarantee that children stay interested.

“We’ll be doing campfire safety and a campfire building competition with the fire department at the city park. We’ll be working with the firefighters because they have the knowledge, skills and equipment so that if something gets out of hand they’re in a safe environment,” Halsey said.

This spring’s events run from 1 to 3 p.m. and the program schedule is as follows: Campfire Safety at Princeton City Park on May 2, animal tracking with members of the W. Va. Department of Natural Resources at the Princeton City Park on May 9, mystery topic at the substation on Mercer Street on May 16, car seat checks and bike safety at the police department parking lot on May 23, and an after-party at the substation on Mercer Street on May 30.

During the safety day, on May 23, officers will be giving away free bicycle helmets as a co-sponsor with the Princeton City Fire Department and the Governor’s Highway Safety Committee.

“Sometimes even parents don’t know if there’s new information for bicycle safety or improvements to protection. Sometimes parents stay busy so if they want to do something fun with their kids and get something knowledgable out of it like having a safety day, then that’s a good reason for them to attend it,” Halsey said.

Along with building connections between officers and families, the safety day also allows officers and firefighters to work together as well. According to Halsey, all positive community interactions should be encouraged.

“Instead of working individually to get the same point across why not team up to work together and work with the community to educate them,” Halsey said.

For more information on Princeton’s Explorers Program contact the Princeton City Police Department at 304-487-5000.

Contact Emily D. Coppola at ecoppola@bdtonline.com

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