Officers from the Glendale Police Department handed out Easter-themed goodie bags to more than 900 students at R.D. White Elementary School Thursday morning.
However, before students received their bags, the dozen or so Glendale officers and volunteers who were at the school shared tips with the children about various safety topics — including wearing a helmet when riding a bike and always looking both ways when crossing a street.
In one first-grade class, Officer Ed Malouf and Sgt. Rafael Quintero reminded students that it's only safe to cross the street when the traffic light indicates it's OK to do so. It's unsafe to cross when the light shows a hand or even when it's counting down.
"If you're on the corner and, if it's blinking, even if it's 20 or 15 seconds, don't starting crossing," Malouf said.
The officers also reminded the students to always wear their seat belt when riding in a car and to wear it correctly — over the lap and across the shoulder, never under the shoulder.
One student pointed out that, "if you don't wear a seat belt, maybe you'll hit your nose and break it."
The event was sponsored by the Glendale Police Officers' Assn.'s Cops for Kids program. In addition to teaching students about safety, it was also a way for the children to become more familiar with police officers and not be afraid of them.
"It's been really good being able to have some interaction with the children and that they can know to rely on police in a time of need," Sgt. Ben Bateman said.
Long before heading to the school, volunteers were packing the roughly 900 bags with Easter eggs, chocolates, stickers, pencils and erasers.
Bateman said the police union has been doing these kinds of visits for more than 10 years, rotating to different schools annually.