LAPS: 2022 Safety Town A Huge Success

Los Alamos Police Chief Dino Sgambellone reads to pre-kindergarten participants in Safety Town. Photo Courtesy LAPS

LAPD Community Liaison Sgt. Chris Ross, left, and School Resource Officers Cpl. Samantha Terrazas and Cpl. James Keane with a Safety Town participant. Photo Courtesy LAPS


More than 100 incoming kindergartners successfully completed the Los Alamos County’s Child Safety Program Preschool Safety Training Course last week. Students were presented with Certificates of Completion by Los Alamos Police Department Chief Dino Sgambellone during a ceremony held at Barranca Mesa Elementary School Friday.

Safety Town is sponsored by Los Alamos Public Schools and the Los Alamos Police Department. More than 480 children have attended Safety Town since the program was started in 2015 by Chief Sgambellone.

“Safety Town was a huge success,” said program coordinator and LAPS Preschool Director Gina Terrazas. “We extend a big thank you to our community partners that served as guest speakers and provided demonstrations and answered questions from our inquisitive 4- and 5-year-olds.  Seeing the smiles on the faces of students and sharing in their excitement as they learned new things is what makes our job worthwhile.” 

Students participated in a number of hands-on activities, crafts, interactions with safety personnel, and safety situations to prepare for potential hazards they may encounter at school, at home or in the community during the week. 

One parent said, “Thanks to you and your team for organizing Safety Town. Lane and Scout LOVED it. I’m so proud to live in a place where this type of service is accessible and worthwhile for community members.”

Each day focused on a different safety topic. On Monday, students learned about water, animal and outdoor safety. They learned how to put on life vests and to only swim when an adult is present, as well as to always wear sunscreen when outside, drink lots of water and be safe on the trails. They were also taught about what to do if they encounter animals, who to call, and what are safe practices.

Fire Safety was the focus on Tuesday, with visits from the fire department and discussions about what is an emergency, when to call 911, what to do in the event of a fire, and the importance of knowing your address.

Kids learned about transportation safety on Wednesday, which included visits from the LAPS transportation and the Atomic City Transit. They listened to the bus safety rules, how to wait at the bus stops and how to use the cross walks. And they were able to ride the bus and the trolley around the block.  

On Thursday, students learned about gun safety, including what to do if you find a gun. They also met Monty and Vector, two canines from the K-9 unit and their handlers.  Chief Sgambellone read two stories to students, and handed out books for students to take home.

Every day students had the chance to practice bike safety. Century Bank donated bike helmets to each child participating in Safety Town.

Students and families alike shared positive comments about the program, giving a “huge SHOUTOUT for the amazing and successful Safety Town event.” A grandparent added, “You all are awesome! Our granddaughter, Lilliannah, really enjoyed her week and she really learned a lot.”

Thank you to the LAPD School Resource Officers Sgt. Chris Ross, Cpl. Samantha Terrazas and Cpl. James Keane, and to the LAPS staff members who helped to make the 2022 Safety Town a success, including teachers Luci Best, Tyler Dalmas, Alicia Kirkland, and Secilli Keeler, and instructional assistants Tonya Cormier, Paola Figueroa, Franchesca Leyba-Romero, Marie MacInnes, Tereza Majerus, Suzanna Silva and Mary Yamada.