Roseville PD’s Safety Camp lands in Central Park

A Life Link helicopter landing punctuated the Roseville Police Department’s first Safety Camp held June 17 in Central Park. (courtesy of Roseville Police Department)

Safety campers enjoyed access to police vehicles as well as the numerous safety demonstrations included in the day. (Mike Munzenrider photos)

Roseville firefighters provided a CPR demo for safety campers.

Safety campers swarmed Roseville police vehicles parked beside the picnic shelter in Central Park off Victoria Street, taking a break from activities following lunch.

The future third- and fourth-graders, newly out of school for the June 17 camp, managed to stuff half a dozen of themselves into the back of a squad car. 

A park patrol vehicle had an even larger carrying capacity, and more than 10 kids rambunctiously hopped onto it.

While there were plenty of fun and games, the Roseville Police Department’s first-ever Safety Camp aimed to teach some serious lessons, from bike safety and how to call 911, to kids’ self defense.

Roseville PD’s Julie Griffin helped organize and put on the camp, which tapped a number of other area agencies to come out and teach the kids about being safe.

The department’s property room and investigative technician, Griffin took the reigns on safety camp last year after White Bear Lake PD held a similar event.

“Having kids this age ... I thought it was really neat, something for the kids in this area to learn from,” said Griffin, a 17-year veteran with the department. “It’s a lot of work, a lot of fun.”

Prior to lunch, which was supplied with help from the Ramsey County Sheriff’s hot dog trailer and sponsors Lunds & Byerlys and Old Dutch, the kids were energized by an electricity demo.

Put on by Connexus Energy, the demonstration showed kids how to deal with power lines in a number of situations and what really happens if you put a fork in a toaster that’s turned on. 

Griffin said one camper said his takeaway was to stay in the car if a crash knocks down power lines around it (the car’s tires will protect you from the live current). Mia, a 9-year-old camper from Roseville, said the demo, complete with arcing electricity, was his favorite part of the day, at least as of lunch.

Other kids enjoyed the self-defense activities, said Griffin. Carlie and Kayla, 10 and 11, happily demonstrated techniques for getting out of bear hugs, gripped wrists and other dicey situations.

Roseville firefighters arrived as lunch wrapped up and prepped for a CPR demonstration, as well as a tour of one of their trucks. Later, a Life Link helicopter landed in one of Central Park’s adjacent ball fields.

Griffin said the camp was staffed by officers and Roseville community service officers, along with police Explorers. Other on-duty officers were slated to stop by and check things out as the day wore on.

With enough spots for 40, the initial camp had 26 kids sign up at a cost of $20 each. Griffin said there are plans to make the camp an annual event, and that word of mouth and other promotion of it should swell its numbers in the future.

Campers received camp-specific t-shirts and backpacks filled with items like a commemorative water bottle and literature about what they’d learned. They also all took home fingerprint kits.

Griffin said a bike helmet demo at another event, involving a cantaloupe dropped with and without a helmet, to splitting effect, had made an impression on her kids. Roseville campers were going to see the same demo but with a watermelon. She said she hoped that demo, or any of the demonstrations from throughout the day, would make an impact.

“If they all take away one thing,” Griffin said, “it’s worth it.”


–Mike Munzenrider can be reached at or 651-748-7813. 

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