Public safety day

Steve Connolly
Oak Bluffs police officer Steve Connolly takes a picture as the State Police helicopter takes off from Waban Park. Photos by Ralph Stewart

By Eleni Collins - June 7, 2007

The entire works of a community's safety team were on display at last Saturday's Public Safety Day sponsored by the Oak Bluffs Police Department. On display at Waban Park was everything from new Dodge Charger police cruisers, to fire trucks, Coast Guard life jackets, and a helicopter. Public officials spent the day giving out critical safety knowledge to the approximately 300 attendees.

"It's a great day to get out and educate the boating public," said Bill Roberston, Coast Guard Boatswain's Mate 2nd Class. "We have the kids trying on life jackets, and using coloring books on boating safety."

The Oak Bluffs Police were there with plenty of information about their new cruisers. "They're cheaper, handle better, faster, and more fuel efficient," said Officer Damien Harris. "They're $1,000 cheaper than the Crown Vics [Victorias]." They are complete with a spot for a future computer screen, so officers can run license plates themselves, and not have to be on the radio as frequently with the communication center.

Oak Bluffs police and fire boat
The Oak Bluffs police and fire boat put on a water show for spectators at the Oak Bluffs Town Beach parallel to Waban Park.

Sergeant Michael Marchand, the Island's only Child Passenger Safety (CPS) technician, spent the day inspecting children's car safety seats. "Ninety percent of child safety seats are installed incorrectly," he said. As a continuing part of Public Safety Day, the Oak Bluffs Police department is giving away 80 certified child car seats that Sgt. Marchand will help install correctly. "To be able to give someone a new car seat - there's nothing more precious than kids," said Erik Blake, Chief of Police.

Many people volunteered their time and effort for the second Public Safety Day. Stop & Shop and Reliable Market donated gift cards, Nancy's Restaurant donated hot dogs and hamburgers, and Giordano's provided pizza for the volunteers. IFP, Cronig's Market, and Coca-Cola also donated to the event.

There were giveaways throughout the day, such as bike helmets, carbon monoxide and smoke detectors, and bicycles. Said Chief Blake, "When you see a kid winning a bicycle, it's like you winning a new car."

The Oak Bluffs Police department was very happy with the event, and plans on continuing it next year.