Sheriff sponsors youth event |

Sheriff sponsors youth event

Amanda Holt Miller
Western Garfield County Staff

The Garfield County Sheriff’s Department will host its Youth-O-Rama event this Sunday at Grand Valley High School in Parachute.

The event is the brainchild of an employee committee at the sheriff’s office, Sheriff Lou Vallario said.

“It’s about establishing a positive image,” Vallario said. “Instead of kids running from someone in uniform, we want them to feel comfortable coming up to us.”

The event is not just about meeting and learning to trust law enforcement. Vallario said it’s also about fun.

Linda White, a Sheriff’s Department administrator and member of the committee that organized the event, said there will be a climbing wall, dunk tank, physical agility course, face-painting, tumble mats and paint-ball games with officers and deputies.

Officers will also demonstrate how handcuffs work and perform a mock car extraction using the jaws of life.

There will also be a band, puppet shows, gun safety and drug awareness discussions as well as pet-care courses.

“It’s a chance for us to let kids see us on regular terms,” White said. “That way they can overcome the fear some kids have of police.”

The Parachute Police Department and Parachute Fire Protection District will also have personnel and equipment at the event.

Kids will get free hot dogs. Money collected from parents at the hot dog stand or dunk tank ” the only places where there will likely be charges ” will be donated to help Hurricane Katrina victims.

“This is the first time we’ve done this,” White said. “It’s kind of an experiment ” a great, fun thing to try.”

The Sheriff’s Department hopes to continue the event. White said it may move to a more central location in Rifle or they may have two events on either end of the county in the future.

White said the committee chose to have the event at GVHS because there are a lot of children in the area.

“It’s for the kids,” White said. “We wanted to give them something fun to do.”

Contact Amanda Holt Miller: 625-3245, ext. 103

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