A whole generation passes through Safety Village, landmark celebrates 25 years

Fort Wayne's Safety Village celebrated 25 years.
Fort Wayne's Safety Village celebrated 25 years.

FORT WAYNE, Ind (WANE) – No matter who you ask — police, fire, kids and parents– all have fond memories at Safety Village. It’s all here to educate the most important students.

A whole generation of children, 25 years worth, have gone through Safety Village.

“I’ve had parents come up to me and say they’ve gone through this program as a child, and their own children come home and say ‘when we cross the street we gotta look both ways, we have to obey the cross walk,’ Fort Wayne Police Chief Steve Reed said.

Safety Village combines local emergency agencies to teach kids things like fire safety and pedestrian safety.There’s obviously a little bit of fun in all these lessons, like Saturday’s Halloween Bash.

“I’m a cat,” 9-year-old Abbie said.

Everyone has memories old and new, even Reed.

“[The officers] would always make me participate,” Reed said. “[The officers would] make me demonstrate how to safely cross the street and at some point they’d always do a little dance and [officers] always liked me to do the dance with the kids.”

“The reason why Safety Village was started was to change a culture,” Fort Wayne Fire Chief Eric Lahey said. “Back when Safety Village first came into effect, and even back into the 70s, we saw a lot more fire related deaths than we do today.”

Lahey’s hope for Safety Village is to keep it going for at least another 25 years.

“Every year it seems like we fight in order to make sure we have enough tax dollars in order to support programs like this,” Lahey said. “Fortunately this year we did really good. Our budget came in flat. Things are good for another year.”

Chief Lahey said if you support Safety Village, and want to see is prosper into the future, always let your elected officials know.