(SUFFOLK COUNTY-NY) – July 4th weekend was filled with firework shows, BBQs, family fun and outdoor activities, which presented a great opportunity for Suffolk County Legislator Bill Lindsay, the Community Ambulance Company of Sayville, Southside Hospital – a part of Northwell Health, the Suffolk County Police Department and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority Police Department to host their first Safety Community Surge – an event focused on improving community relations, increasing safety and rewarding children’s good behavior while being active.
The Safety Community Surge was set up to reduce crime and injuries by enhancing relations between Police, EMS and youths by communicating and developing positive relationships in the community, encouraging positive behaviors like wearing bicycle helmets and doing good deeds, rewarding children who exhibit positive safe behavior and preventing injuries by providing free safety equipment and educational material.
The collaborative group split up into 5 teams, each having a marked vehicle that went into the communities of Sayville, West Sayville, Oakdale, Bohemia, and Bayport to scan the roadways for youth bicyclists, rollerbladers, and skateboarders. Those seen wearing a helmet received a voucher for a free Carvel Ice Cream Cone and got to meet and speak with several emergency services personnel, police officers, and elected officials. If the child was not wearing a safety helmet then they were offered one along with safety educational material.
“Reinforcing good behavior goes a long way in developing positive habits within children,” said Legis. Lindsay. “Wearing a helmet is a necessity at all ages on our roadways, so it is extremely rewarding to be able to get into the community with these great partners to promote safe habits and create strong bonds with our residents.”
In the 4 hour surge, over 35 personnel participated with 2 police vehicles, 5 ambulances, 4 EMS responder trucks that handed out 40 helmets and 150 Carvel Ice Cream Cone vouchers. Direct contact was made with over 250 people throughout the communities including parents and children.
“Coordinated events like this one can help to enhance relationships and increase communication between police, EMS, government officials and youths, which in turn can lead to a reduction in crime,” said event coordinator, MTA Detective and Safety Officer at Southside Hospital Jamie Atkinson. “By rewarding children for positive behavior this will reinforce good habits like wearing helmets and doing good deeds. Ultimately the Safety Community Surge was designed to prevent injuries and encourage good behavior but it is yet another way to give back to the community and make an immediate impact on the lives of our residents.”