Sunday, August 3, 2008

Picnic with Police and Fire Departments a Success


Hundreds of children and families turned out for the Picnic with the Police and Fire Departments that took place on Thursday in Washington Square Park.

Many loyal volunteers returned to the picnic this year to cook, assemble and serve hundreds of hot dogs and hamburgers to the public who attended. The grill masters behind the large barbecue, along with servers for all the other food items were stationed under a pavilion and went at full speed all afternoon.

Sides, cold drinks and the ever popular snow-cones rounded out the picnic fare. All food, ice, and other items were supplied by donors. Attendance was steady throughout the afternoon, in spite of a few brief showers.

Snow Cone Maker

Officers from the Syracuse Police Department's Community Policing and Traffic Divisions displayed equipment and programs, or assisted children near the entertainment areas. Several police vehicles were available for demonstration. A few patrol officers that work the North side were present when they were able to stop by.


Students from the GREAT program volunteered at the event, giving a helping hand wherever needed, including at the DARE Unit's information tent. There were other displays by various units.

In addition, Chief of Police Gary Miguel and the chiefs of each division were all present to greet the public during lunch. They stopped and talked with neighbors and supporters regarding topics of interest. Lots of Police Center friends stopped by, including Brian Cubbison of the Post Standard, who is part of our online community as well.


A Syracuse Fire Department chief, plus all of the officers and firefighters from Station 2 were present to help kick off and staff the picnic. They brought Truck, Engine and Mini 2 with them for demonstration to interested attendees. More than one hundred families had their pictures taken in or near the yellow ladder Truck and the red Engine that provided colorful backdrops. Firefighters patiently lifted children onto the steps and into the seats, then posed with them when asked.

Polariods took a bow at this year's event and made their final exit. Digital photography with on-demand printing was given a whirl for the first time, supplying some very nice take-aways for the families. We'll be perfecting this process for the Christmas Party.

Several times during the event, the firefighters administered first aid to a few children with minor cuts and bruises, and were dispatched to a nearby accident with injuries in front of the Police Center. With the exception of this, everything went off without a hitch.


Entertainment included various games with prizes, playground equipment and a very popular bouncy house that the kids rocked. Volunteers and officers supplied the resources to supervise and run the entertainment, all of which was made possible by private donations. One of the volunteer teams included a mother who owns a North side business, and brings her two teenage sons to give a hand at our events.


Some children cooled off in the fountain or by sitting under a tree to get their face painted. There were some very colorful and unique designs on the children's faces this year. Donors and volunteers provide the supplies and labor for this favorite feature of the picnic.


Additional photos from the event can be seen on our Flickr site.

We sincerely thank everyone who made this event possible: Our donors, volunteers, members of the City of Syracuse Police, Fire and other departments, and supporters, including the media and area businesses who publicized the event. The Picnic would not have been possible without you!

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