SPRINGFIELD, Ore. (KMTR) – Making an effort to connect with Springfield residents, Springfield Police Department hosted a big block party on Saturday.
The department put on its annual open house at the Springfield Justice Center on Saturday, September 22.
Along with tours of the department, police also gave anyone a chance to sit on a motorbike or inside a police car. Springfield’s K-9 unit also gave demonstrations and let people interact with the dogs.
The police department says it tries to hold one of these open houses every year to build a relationship with the people they work to protect in the community.
"It's really about (the kids). You know, we love the kids and the kids have fun. This little one probably isn't going to remember much of what she saw but when they get a little older, they see the equipment that we have, they get to watch the dogs, they get to sit on motorcycles, so it's kind of a recruiting tool too for down the road!" says Chief Jerry Smith of the Springfield Police Department.
Chief Smith says Saturday’s open house had one of the best turnouts ever with several hundred people taking part.
Next March the department offers a free Citizens Police Academy for anyone to learn more about their work.