Urbana Police Officer Jason Kizer tries to help the children at Safety Town learn the rules of the road Thursday, June 15, 2017. Bill Lackey/Staff

Urbana community program teaches children how to be safe

The program is called Safety Town, and it started here in 2012.

The idea came from Sam Molton. He is the son of Urbana Police Division officer Steve Molton and is an Eagle Scout who wanted to do a project that benefited the division.

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He went into the community and gathered donations for Safety Town. It was later turned over to Urbana Police once it was established.

“So many situations in today’s world, where children are put out to learn stuff on their own, and they are not real sure,” Sgt. Jason Kizer with the Urbana Police Division said.

He helps run the week-long class. It’s free and open to local children between the ages of 4 to 6 years old.

“We talk to children about traffic safety issues, how to cross a roadway, gun safety, fire safety, and pool safety,” Kizer said.

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The program brings in community partners to help teach parts of the program like children services, which teaches stranger safety. Urbana City Schools teaches bus safety.

They teach the 20 participants how to be safe.

“We teach them different traffic safety lessons, trying to get them be prepared … it prepares them to go out in the community and do everyday living,” Kizer said.

Urbana Fire Division is one community partner, and they were in Safety Town on Thursday teaching fire safety.

“Especially at this age they kind of soak up everything and they are little sponges, so the earlier we can start teaching them these things they become habit hopefully,” Jacob Jones, an Urbana Fire Division firefighter, said.

He and others taught kitchen safety, fireplace safety and how to find exits if you are trapped by a fire.

“The more practice they get doing it, hopefully the better they react if they ever are in the situation of having a fire or even an emergency at home, they will know how to get help,” Jones said.

CareFlight is another community partner. A crew flew in and taught the children what the emergency medical helicopter does.

Safety Town was created to make a great first impression between children and first-responders in the event they might meet later.

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