Like car dealers who give out balloons or supermarkets that hand out food samples, Anne Arundel County police agencies are staging their own kind of customer appreciation day tomorrow.
Law enforcement agencies in the county will offer safety tips and patrol car rides, among other things, at the Law Enforcement Expo from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Anne Arundel Community College.
The event, sponsored by the Anne Arundel County police, also promises police dog and 911 display demonstrations, fingerprinting for children, child safety seat checks, a "Shoot, Don't Shoot" simulator and competitions."People used to think police just drove around in air-conditioned cars and wrote tickets. But we help a lot of people," said Anne Arundel County police Cpl. W. Larry Johnson, who is coordinating the activities. "There are really a lot of things people need to know about their police."
The event will give county residents a chance to see how many police agencies there are in the area. In addition to county police, the U.S. Park Police, Crofton police, Maryland State Police, Naval Academy police, Annapolis police, Fort Meade military police, Gibson Island police, Mass Transit Administration police and Natural Resources Police will be there.
This year's expo, which comes on the heels of National Public Safety and Correctional Employees Week, is the first time all the agencies have been together, Johnson said.
In past years, the county police and fire departments have had an annual event. But this year's county Fire Expo is planned for Oct. 7 to begin Fire Prevention Week, said fire Battalion Chief John M. Scholz.
The combined event had become so popular - especially with families and children - that there wasn't enough space at the headquarters for the fire and police departments in Millersville, organizers said.
Although children are drawn to the sirens, lights, helicopters and gadgetry of police work, Johnson said adults will be able to load up on information about crime prevention, youth programs and burglary surveys. They also may sign up for community groups, neighborhood block watches and the Million Mom March on Sunday in Washington.
And, Johnson said, free cotton candy will be available for everyone.