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Dominic Graziano

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Playing it safe

National Night Out pulls community, law enforcement, emergency services together

Safety was the name of the game Tuesday night, as more than 100 people turned out for the annual National Night Out, sponsored by the Craig Police Department and Wendy’s.

Dozens of Craig residents, many with children in tow, stopped by booths set up in the parking lot at Wendy’s.

Craig Fire/Rescue was at the event, as well as the Colorado State Patrol, Moffat County Sheriff’s Office and the Craig Police Department.

Officer Laurie Schulze, with the Craig Police Department, said the main reason for the event was to promote child safety.

“The basic idea is to get the community interacting with the fire department and (law enforcement officers),” Schulze said.

The public had the opportunity to acquire gun-safety locks, child-identification kits, have their bicycles registered, learn tips on identifying methamphetamine manufacturing and receive safety information.

There was also information about fire safety, bicycle safety, car-seat safety and stranger safety, all aimed at children who attended the event.

A big hit with the children was the mascots.

Janet Brooks said her grandson Jimmy had seen Eddie Eagle from the street and made her stop so he could see him.

Brooks said her grandson has the Eddie Eagle video and he watches it all the time.

“Stop. Don’t touch,” Jimmy recited.

Eddie Eagle is a mascot developed by the National Rifle Association to educate children about gun safety.

The other mascots at the event were McGruff the Crime Dog and Red E. Fox.

Carlene Sanders, who works communications for the State Patrol, received the honor of portraying Red at National Night out.

“I begged and borrowed to get to do this,” she said.

Sanders added that the State Patrol had just gotten the suit and that this was her and Red’s debut.

Red E. Fox teaches children about the correct use of the 911 emergency line.

Sanders said it is good for children when they have something such as a mascot or a slogan to help them remember things that involve safety.

Susan Relaford and her children also came to the event.

“I always come to these things,” Relaford said. “Its good to educate the kids about what the police department is doing.”

She said she brought her children to the National Night Out last year and that they were excited about coming this year.

Her 6-year-old daughter, Kerri, and 4-year-old son, Dylan, played with the mascots, and her 10-year-old son, Wyatt, got a ride on the fire truck.

Wyatt said he was excited to ride the fire truck for the first time.

He said he knew a lot about safety from being taught in school.

“Its good to learn about safety everywhere you go,” Wyatt said.