Lathrop Police Services Chief James Hood has seen the news stories of children on bicycles struck and killed by motorists in surrounding communities over the past several years.
And he wants to do everything in is power to make sure that something like that never happens in Lathrop.
Enter the Bicycle Rodeo.
Every year Lathrop Police Services, through community partnerships with organizations like Target, invite children of all ages down to local schools to put them through a safety check and an obstacle course designed to test their reflexes and skills on a bicycle. Those students that don’t already have helmets – which are required by law, and the lack of which can lead to a citation that requires an appearance before a juvenile court judge as well as the fines for that appearance – are provided to them free of charge courtesy of Target.
“It’s beneficial because it allows our school resource officers to work with the students to let them know proper bicycle safety, but it also allows the officers to build a relationship with the students outside of the school in a relaxed environment.
“It gives officers the chance to meet parents as well, and it takes away the stigma that the police officers always have to be the bad guys and shows that we’re a part of the community here as well.”
More than 30 students showed up last week at Mossdale Elementary School, and another is planned for this Thursday at the NextGeneration STEAM Academy at River Islands immediately following school. Like the one held this past week, the event will be open to the public. Any child wishing to attend to learn proper bicycle safety – or to receive a free bicycle helmet – is encouraged to attend.
For additional information about the program, contact Lathrop Police Services at 209.858.5551.
To contact reporter Jason Campbell email email@example.com or call 209.249.3544.