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Volunteers, donations sought for Public Safety Expo

By Staff | May 21, 2011

The 2011 Public Safety Expo will offer lectures and exhibits to help educate residents on a range of topics, while raising money for a good program.
Hosted by the Sheriff’s Youth Activities League, the expo will cover fire safety, water safety, youth bullying, dog bites, Stranger Danger, household poisons and more. Anticipated to be an annual event, this is the first expo.
“It’s a fund-raiser for the SYAL program, and it’s an opportunity for us to educate the public,” Deputy Jeffrey Santella, executive director of Sheriff’s Youth Activities League and member of the Lee County Sheriff’s Office, said.
“These are things that officers see on a daily basis,” he added.
The expo will be held from noon-4 p.m. May 29 at Greenwell’s Family Fun Park, at 35 N.E. Pine Island Road. The event is free, and Greenwell’s will offer unlimited batting cages, go-kart and mini-golf at a cost of $12 per person.
Greenwell’s will donate a portion of the special rate proceeds to SYAL.
“We thought it was a nice facility and a draw, giving kids something to do,” Santella said.
The expo will offer helpful information and educate residents on what public services are available to the community. Lee County Animal Services and the Lee Memorial Health System’s Bloodmobile will be present, along with others.
Exhibits will showcase the LCSO aviation and motorcycle units, mounted patrols, helicopters, K-9 unit and SWAT. Cape police and fire will be present.
Under the tent, a new lecture will be given every 30 minutes.
“There will be some interactive stuff,” Santella added.
The State Fire Marshal’s Association will have a fire safety trailer on scene that simulates a house fire. There will be a stun gun demonstration, a chance to test out the drunk googles, and a demo on how officers detain suspects.
“The summertime is notorious for these incidents,” Santella said of why SYAL chose to raise awareness about the issues that the expo will highlight.
“Kids are not in school, but now out and about,” he said. “We’re hoping to alleviate, be a little proactive on these issues, on injuries and even deaths.”
Initiated four years ago, SYAL helps bring programs to high-risk areas of Lee County. Teen dances, art shows and sports leagues, including archery and basketball, are just some of the activities that are organized through SYAL.
“And it gives kids an opportunity to mingle with law enforcement in a positive way,” Santella said.
For more information about the Public Safety Expo or to donate to SYAL, contact Deputy Jeffrey Santella at 849-1084 or jsantella@sheriffleefl.org.
“The more money, the more services we can provided,” he said.
The program is also seeking volunteers.