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Police get funding for second Kids At Play van

BURBANK -- Kids At Play will double its fun following the city’s

approval of money to buy a second mobile recreation van for the program,

officials said.

On Dec. 1, Asst. City Manager Steve Helvey approved a request made by


Burbank Police Chief David Newsham to use $44,400 from the police

department’s drug asset forfeiture account for the purchase of a van for

the popular program.

The Kids At Play van is equipped with games, sports equipment, books


and craft supplies. It travels to neighborhoods without parks or where

the parks don’t offer supervised recreational activities, said Teri

Stein, the deputy director of the Department of Park and Recreation,

which runs the program.

Newsham said buying the van with drug asset forfeiture funds -- money

seized in drug busts that is dispersed by the federal and state

government to local police departments -- makes sense for the city.

“The van’s designed to go into neighborhoods that have a number of


at-risk youth,” Newsham said. “It offers programs and alternatives that

are a deterrent to activities that may not be as healthy.”

In the past, Burbank has used the forfeiture funds to help operate the

police helicopter program and to purchase safety equipment for officers.

A percentage of the money can be spent on prevention programs, including

Drug Abuse Resistance Education and Kids At Play, which distributes DARE

information, Newsham said.

Stein said the request for a second van, which was made Nov. 23,


stemmed from a growing demand for the program to visit schools, parks and

neighborhoods. The program is popular with working parents who appreciate

knowing their kids are taking part in supervised activities, she said.

Stein said that after the van is purchased it will need to be

customized for the program and could be ready by next spring.