Community comes together for safety and emergency preparedness fairSep 08, 2022 11:49AM ● By Bill Hardesty
On a lovely summer evening, the South Salt Lake community celebrated the National Night Against Crime and Emergency Fair at Central Park on Aug. 2.
"National Night Out is possibly one of my favorite city events of the summer. It's always fun to meet up with our residents and share great emergency preparedness information and updates about what's happening around South Salt Lake," Mayor Cherie Wood said. "Luckily, my booth is placed close to our SSL Animal Services team. This year, a huge highlight was the adoption of one of our pups! The almost immediate bonding that took place between them was kind of magical to witness. It makes events like this feel so meaningful. I hope that our National Night Out will continue with increased success and grow in the years to come."
"I would like to personally thank everyone that participated in the National Night Out Against Crime. The City of South Salt Lake has taken this event to a higher level by including Emergency Preparedness as part of the event, far above the national standard," SSLPD Chief Jack Carruth said.
All city departments had booths. Crystal Makin, director of finance, supplied information on the tax increase passed on Aug. 10. The flyer listed six benefits: dedicated funding for six new officers and four fire personnel; more officers mean better coverage for proactive patrol; safer city with decreased response time; maintaining essential infrastructure and utility needs; saving and planning for future infrastructure needs; and retention and recruitment of qualified city personnel.
Their summarizing statement is, "South Salt Lake can't run today's city on yesterday's dollars."
SSL Animal Services brought furry friends to adopt and, as mentioned, had one successful adoption. In addition, officer Jenica Laws said the shelter is at capacity. They also displayed Big Dog Pet Evac Pak and Cat Evac Pak with Clinch bags. The dog bag is designed to be carried by a big dog. However, the cat bag must be carried by a human (Why? Because they are cats). While the displayed evac bags are available from Chewie.com, SSL Animal Services has a list if pet owners want to make their own.
The Community Development Department displayed pictures of new buildings and developments in the city. In addition, Promise SSL provided information about its various programs based on the mayor's three promises made during her first term.
Public Works Department's booth was large, showcasing their various responsibilities from streets and sidewalks to waste disposal and recycling to water to wastewater to stormwater. One educational display showed how stormwater goes from curb grates to the Great Salt Lake.
"Preparedness and emergency fairs are a great place for community members to learn about preparing for emergencies," Fire Chief Terry Addison said. "If there is a catastrophic event in the community, it can overwhelm emergency responders. Therefore, working on resiliency and being prepared until we can reach you will help recovery in the long run."
SSL Fire Department displayed the firehouse that provides home safety information and allows them to demonstrate how to exit a home full of smoke. Fire apparatus is always a fan favorite.
SSL Police Department provided various information, including online safety for children. For example, a pamphlet titled "Online Apps Parents Should Know" listed nine concerning apps such as dating apps (e.g., Hinge, Skout), social media (e.g., TikTok, Whisper, Snapchat), Questions and Answer Apps (e.g., Reddit, Tellonym), Live Streaming, (e.g., Bigo Live), and hiding apps (e.g., Calculator#).
Another pamphlet is titled "Sexting." The brochure talked about the why, the illegality of the behavior, and the possible scary results of the behavior.
"Every department in the City had the ability to be recognized for what they do and how they contribute to the safety of our City, as well as local vendors that offer home protection and safety solutions for our community," Carruth said. "We also had the support of our FBI partners, the South Salt Lake Honorary Colonels, the SSL Chamber of Commerce, Granite School District, The Other Side Academy, and many others. Each year this event demonstrates the importance and power of community partnerships. Our commitment to community outreach and engagement is essential in providing exceptional service to our community."
Carruth went on to commend the hard work of the SSLPD Community Resource Division and other department support staff, as well as other city staff for making this event a success again.
SSL Honorary Colonels passed out popcorn and arranged for volunteers from The Other Side Academy to pass out pizza and cookies. SSL Parks and Recreation supplied ice cream. The Honorary Colonels also hosted the annual SSLPD vs. SSLFD tug-of-war.
The annual tug-of-war between the SSLPD and the SSLFD was competitive from the get-go. In fact, for a while, it looked like SSLFD might win. However, SSLPD won for the third time in a row.
SSLPD not only won bragging rights for another year but also kept possession of the unique traveling trophy. λ