National Night Out is Tuesday

Michael Green and his brother Daniel are good about wearing their helmets when they ride their bikes, but nobody really noticed until recently.

In recognition of their efforts, the boys -- ages 11 and 9 -- were pulled over by a Craig police officer and given tickets. But these are no ordinary tickets -- each is worth a free frosty at Wendy's.

"I just wear (my helmet) whenever I go somewhere," Michael said. "I also ride on the right side of the road."

Sean Villard of the police department hopes other children will follow these examples, and police intend to further spread the word about child and community safety at a National Night Out event Tuesday at Wendy's.

"We want to see about 300 kids out there this year," Villard said. "Our goal is to get kids familiar with the police department so they trust us."

National Night Out parties typically are held around the country by police departments to give residents tips on fighting crime. Residents also are encouraged to leave porch lights on Tuesday night in support of the annual event. Police will offer a number of free services Tuesday including child identification kits, gun safety locks, bike registrations and child safety seat inspections.

Children like Daniel and Michael who have received recognition for being safe in public and given an Operation Great Kid award have the chance Tuesday to win prizes.

Twenty-four businesses have donated a total of 77 prizes for the event, Villard said.

The Boys & Girls Club of Craig will offer games and mascots will mingle with the public, he said.

"Basically, we want to get people thinking how they can be safer when they're walking, biking, jogging and outside," Villard said. "A lot of times, all it takes is somebody saying something that really gets the wheels going."

Julie Green said she was happy that police are offering the event. Green said children, such as her own, learn how to be safe when they see adults doing it. It's one reason why she wears a helmet while bicycling.

"I explain to them why I wear mine," she said. "I say that I need to take care of my family and I need to have an intact brain when I come home to do that."

Villard said police were especially vigilant about rewarding children who were seen riding safely on their bicycles. Two accidents involving children on bicycles versus cars have happened this summer, he said. "People should come to this to get information that could prove useful," Villard said. "It's going to be a blast."

Commenting has been disabled for this item.