IMPD: Children’s bike rodeo about more than safety

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Indianapolis Metro Police spent part of their weekend teaching children the importance of bike safety.

Saturday’s bike rodeo began with a special police escort for the boys and girls on their bikes and ended at the department’s southeast district headquarters. Officers took the children through safety courses in the parking lot.

Police and neighborhood organizers said the event is also a way to connect with kids in a positive way at an early age.

“We want our kids to recognize our officers and be able to talk to our officers,” said Rachel Cooper, President of the Southeast Community Neighborhood Association.

“Anybody who’s seen the news nowadays knows what a battle we’re fighting in our community with drug abuse, overdoses,  and violence,” said IMPD Southeast District Commander John Conley. “And we’ve got to find a way to crack that. We’ve got to find a way to get to these kids while they’re young and help them to understand that we, as the police, are their partner. We’re people they can go to as a resource to help fight some of the pressures they’re under as kids.”

Police, along with the Southeast Community Neighborhood Association, also gave away 20 new bikes. Those who won a bike were able to give their old one to a child who doesn’t have one.

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