Earthquake anniversary good day to think about safety in Santa Clarita.
Public safety is everyone’s business and is a top priority for the City of Santa Clarita. During 2008, the City, the Sheriffs Department and Fire Department will be launching a monthly series of public safety awareness programs and messages, aimed at promoting a clean, safe, and healthy community, focusing on important aspects of home, personal, and community safety of importance to Santa Clarita residents and businesses.
During the month of January, the City/Sheriff’s “Every 15 Minutes” program will be held at Saugus High School on Thursday, January 24, and Friday, January 25. This innovative and hard-hitting program provides a graphic wake-up call for high school students regarding the realities of drinking and driving. Also in January, the City/Sheriff Business Alliance is holding a “Business Retail Fraud Theft Prevention Program.” This free program is being offered to assist businesses with theft prevention efforts.
February is Motorcycle and Bicycle Safety and Awareness month.
Residents and the motoring public will be presented with a series of safety messages in conjunction with the AMGEN Tour of California event, including the message to wear helmets when riding bicycles and motorcycles, to share the road with motorists, cyclists and pedestrians, to look for riders, and remind riders to always wear reflective gear.
March is Traffic Safety Awareness month. Traffic safety is a high priority to the City and its residents. During this month-long campaign, the City will promote messages, including the “pull to the right” message, driving safely and within the posted speed limits, wear seat belts at all times, and others. Letting residents know about new laws that go into effect in 2008, including cell phone use while driving, as well as educating motorists about some little-known traffic, including knowing the speed limit in school or residential zones, is planned. It will also be a time to promote the STTOP program, which provides a call in phone line to report bad drivers.
April in Santa Clarita is Emergency Preparedness month. As part of the City’s popular Emergency Preparedness Expo, (scheduled April 19 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at College of the Canyons), information will be provided to residents about being prepared at home, work, and in the car. Messages will focus on preparing our children for an emergency by promoting exit drills, practice getting in and out of windows, and learning how to shut off their home gas and water valves in an emergency.
May is a special month in Santa Clarita, with a focus on keeping Santa Clarita clean. The City’s Pride Week will be held Monday, May 5, through Friday, May 9. This long-standing program includes a community-wide litter pick-up day, and promotion of the City’s Graffiti Hotline, 25-CLEAN. Additionally, on Saturday, May 10, a community “Graffiti Wipe-Out Day” event will be held to eradicate graffiti city-wide.
June is Personal Security and Safety Awareness month. The City will promote various aspects of crime prevention, including being proactive, locking the doors at home and in the car, being vigilant and careful to lock windows, etc. Also included in this awareness campaign will be information about pool safety and vacation home checks.
July is Identity Theft and Senior Safety Awareness Month. During July, speakers programs and public service announcements will help promote ways to avoid identity theft, especially for seniors, and what to do if you suspect your’s might be stolen. The City’s Sheriffs award winning FITE (Fraud Identity Theft Education) program will be an integral part of the month.
August is Gang Awareness month. During August, public service messages will communicate understanding gangs, how to use your cell phone to call 911 if you feel threatened by a gang member, how to be a witness to a gang related crime, and the importance of being ever-vigilant.
The City’s Anti-Gang Task Force and Gang Outreach Committee members, as well as local law enforcement, will host two “Community Gang Awareness” meetings. Information will be provided about the anonymous crime hotline, and other ways to combat gangs. Youth and parents will be provided with resources and positive alternatives. “Save Our Youth,” a violence prevention group, will make presentations to high-risk youth about the dangers of joining gangs. Presentations will be made at the Newhall Community Center, and the Canyon Country and Val Verde Boys and Girls Clubs. Also, at the August “Valle del Oro Community Committee” meeting, City staff and law enforcement will provide gang prevention information to attendees.
September is Parenting and Teen Awareness month. This will coincide with the City’s popular Teen Scene Unplugged program for teens and their parents. Also included this month are parenting classes and “do’s and don’ts” for those with teens. Messages will also include: “how to get help,” “how and where to obtain resources,” and “how to parent.” The City is also planning a public safety workers appreciation day on Thursday, September 11, in conjunction with the Red Cross “Heroes” program.
In response to the increasing amount of fires in our Valley, the month of October is Fire Safety and Smoke Alarm Awareness Month. The City and the Fire Department will work with local businesses to obtain free smoke alarms to distribute to those in need. Other fire related messages during October include “candle with care.”
November is Kid Safety month and the focus will be on how to keep our kids safe, including preventing accidents, having the right car seats, medicine chest safety, toy safety, and obtaining Kid Print identifications. Also in November, the city's prescription drug prevention program called “Don’t be Your Teens Drug Dealer” will be highlighted.
Finally, in December, the City, the Sheriff and Fire Department will put the focus on a drunk driving awareness and its Protecting Yourself During the Holidays campaign. The city's "Cost of Drinking and Driving" campaign will be featured in the media and the city will promote holiday shopping safety, including being aware of your surroundings, as well as not leaving valuables in view in the car.
For more information on the city's Public Safety programs, visit the city's website at www.santa-clarita.com.