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HPD connects to community via Safe Kids Day
photo of dunk tank
Officer Rickey Rice, left, and Detective Mike Welter, right, working the HPD's dunk tank at Safe Kids Day. Photos/Kayla Gamble

The Hinesville Police Department hosted its annual Safe Kids Day at Bryant Commons Park on May 11. The event is a part of the HPD’s mission to project and develop a sense of community among Hinesville residents. The HPD has hosted Safe Kids Days for more than 10 years, with Star Corporal Kevin Remillard, the community resource officer, heading up the event for the past two years. The main purpose of the event, according to S/Cpl. Remillard, is to educate the community on safety in a fun way, while, at the same time, showing a lighter side of the HPD.

This aim was clear, with a combination of fun activities, such as bounce houses and a dunk tank, and safety booths like 9-1-1’s Public Safety Communications booth. Many of the vendors present during Safe Kids Day were asked by Remillard to attend, while others reached out for the opportunity. The later was the case for Safe N Secure Innovations, whose owner, Terry White, was showcasing the company’s Kid Safe Child ID. With it, parents can upload imperative information about their child such as medications, photos, and identification information in the case of them going missing. A Splash of Paint Studios was also in attendance with small easels and canvases for patrons to express their creativity.

While putting the event together wasn’t necessarily difficult, Remillard did state that it can be difficult sometimes to spread the message that assistance on the part of first responders is always there. Another challenge, according to the Star Corporal, was making sure the public was aware of the event. Despite Remillard’s initial concern, community attendance was considerable, with more families arriving as the event got underway.

Safe Kids Day is just one of the HPD’s outreach programs in their Community Orientated Policing (COP) efforts. They are also involved in multiple community outreach programs and groups and are included on the boards of the Tri County Shelter, the YMCA and the Homeless Coalition.

“It’s a constant effort. We want to bridge the gap,” Remillard said. “It’s important to have community support. That’s where it all starts. Eighty-five officers can only effectively police a population of 4,000 if we have the support of those individuals.”


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