Public meets variety of city, county workers at Sweet Home Safety Fair

SWEET HOME — Children marveled at fire trucks, police dogs, heavy machinery and more on Saturday at the fifth annual Jim Bean Memorial Safety Fair, held at the Sweet Home Police Department.

“Fire hat. Yay,” exclaimed Ashley Morelli, 8, of Sweet Home, as she picked up a helmet made of bright red plastic.

“Anytime you get out like this and meet the public and give back to them, it’s a good thing,” said Sweet Home Fire Chief Mike Beaver.

Sweet Home Police Department Detective Cyndi Pichardo was giving away dozens of bicycle helmets to area children. About 25 bikes were also licensed during the event.

Pichardo said the safety fair is important because it builds a connection between kids and police officers.

“They know we’re somebody who is safe and they can approach us if there’s a problem,” she said.

Nearby, Linn County Sheriff’s Office marine patrol deputies talked with children about the importance of wearing life jackets out on the water.

Hondo, a sheriff’s office drug detection canine, was a big hit at the fair.

“Can I pet the dog?” asked Grant McGuire, 6.

Senior Deputy John Trenary explained Hondo’s job to the Lebanon boy.

“He barks when they’re not good?” McGuire asked, petting Hondo.

“He actually sits and stares,” Trenary said.

McGuire wandered through the safety fair for a while before he found his favorite part.

“The fire truck. I like the ladder. It’s so tall,” he said, looking skyward.

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