Fairfield is planning to develop a Safety Town program for its residents, which would teach even more children in Butler County important safety tips.
There are several similar types of summer safety programs for kids around Butler County, including in Monroe, Middletown, West Chester Twp. and Hamilton. Fairfield Police Chief Steve Maynard said these safety programs are “a great opportunity to get engaged with the community, and you’re teaching kids important safety aspects to consider.”
The city of Springdale had conducted its Safety Town program at the former Tri-County Mall, which closed last year for a redevelopment project, and donated its safety program buildings to Fairfield. Maynard will ask City Council to allocate $10,000 to purchase bikes and helmets and to rehabilitate the buildings for its Safety Town program that could be launched this summer.
“We’re going to try to get it up and running this summer if we can,” said Maynard. “If not, we’ll definitely get it up and running next year.”
If the Fairfield Safety Town launches this year, it will most likely be at a temporary location, which as yet to be determined. The city will invest in developing a permanent home for the summer safety program for children, and city officials are evaluating a couple of locations.
Fairfield DARE officer Scott Webb will run safety town, and Maynard said he’d been observing how Hamilton ― which its Safety Town will be in its 51st year this summer ― operates its summer program. But it won’t be a duplication of Hamilton’s program, he said.
“They’ve been doing it for many, many years and they’ve been successful,” the chief said. “There will be a lot of similarities. But I gave him the latitude to put it together the way he wants it. Hamilton has a great program, but I want him to look at some aspects he wants to change and put his own program together, something unique to the city.”
Hamilton police Officer Kristy Collins, who runs the Hamilton Safety Town, said the more programs like this teaching safety tips and information, the better. They have around 200 4- and 5-year-olds over a five-week program, but the city also runs a Bicycle Rodeo for kids 6 to 8 years old after the summer safety program ends.
“Obviously, parents teach them, teachers at school and pre-school teach them, but anything we can add, especially during the summer months when they’re out of school, I think it’s so important,” she said.
The number of kids that could participate in a Fairfield Safety Town has not yet been determined, said Maynard. It could be a few more weeks before decisions on whether a Fairfield Safety Town would happen this year or in 2024, and a location, are made.