- Bicycle Registration
- Child Fingerprinting
- Passport to Safety
- Safety Patrol Liaison Activities
- Third Grade Seatbelt Program
About Bicycle Registration
The Vandalia Division of Police offers free bicycle registration to the residents of Vandalia. Residents may bring their bicycles to the police department to be registered.
The bicycles' serial number, a brief description of the bicycle and the owner's information are entered into the Divisions computer database. Should the bicycle ever become lost or stolen the information is readily available, to be entered into the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) computer system.
The bicycle registration program allows stolen or lost bicycles to be returned to their rightful owners.
About Child Fingerprinting
At various events held throughout the year, the Vandalia Division of Police conducts child fingerprinting. There is no charge for the fingerprints. The fingerprints are given to the parents of the child for safekeeping.
The fingerprinting service is available to all city of Vandalia residents and groups that may wish to sponsor a child fingerprinting session.
For more information on child fingerprinting sessions please contact Officer Rich Sommer, the Vandalia Division of Police Crime Prevention Officer or call 937-415-2274.
About Passport to Safety
In 1985, Vandalia police Lieutenant Jack Baber and Vandalia-Butler schools kindergarten teacher Marie McGee met to discuss an idea they had about a safety program to be taught to incoming kindergarten students of the school district. A few months after this meeting, in 1986, the Passport to Safety program was launched.
The program is now taught in all the elementary schools in the Vandalia-Butler School District for incoming kindergarteners. The program is held at each individual school during the beginning of the new school year. First Responders and community instructors teach the program.
The Crime Prevention Officer will be present for parent meetings at each school prior to the beginning of the school year for our new Kindergarteners. At this meeting the officer briefly discusses Passport to Safety and also hands out Child ID Kits. We encourage parents to complete the kit which includes fingerprinting their children in case of unforeseen circumstances. This ID kit has all of the required information for law enforcement should your child ever go missing. The following is a typical schedule for Passport to Safety but is subject to change as we work around the professionals’ schedules who are making this program possible.
A local veterinarian comes in to discuss not only pet safety but being safe around wild animals. They talk about “standing like a tree” or “laying like a log” to prevent interest from the animal and protect themselves from attack. A lifeguard comes in to talk about water safety, safety equipment, sun safety, etc. We have a bus driver come and talk about bus safety, rules on the bus, how to board and exit the bus, bus driver signals. A school or district nurse talks about germ safety, how to wash your hands, when to wash your hands, where germs live, etc. All of these programs are interactive to keep the attention of our new kindergarteners.
Day 2 is fire day. The children learn about fire safety, smoke alarm, home exit plan, stop/ drop/ roll, and firefighter gear. They get to watch a fire fighter put all of their gear on to teach them not to be scared, there’s still just a person inside. A fire truck and ambulance are available outside for the students to look at, get inside, see the lights/ sirens, and how they operate.
Day 3 is police day. The children learn about why it’s important to follow directions, what an emergency is, how to call 911, stranger safety, gun safety, traffic safety, police officer’s gear/ equipment, and tour of a police cruiser. McGruff the Crime Dog often makes an appearance as well during police day to stress the importance of stranger safety because McGruff says “If you don’t know, don’t go!”
On Friday the children graduate from the Passport to Safety program. Parents are invited to stay for the graduation. The children will recite the safety items they learned throughout the program prior to graduation.
Passport to Safety is a coordinated effort, which involves the school district and the Vandalia Division of Police. Classes are taught by instructors from the Vandalia and Butler Township Fire Departments, Parks and Recreation water safety, Vandalia-Butler City Schools bus drivers, and a local veterinarian.
In 1986 the program won "Crime Prevention Program of the Year" award from the Ohio Crime Prevention Association. In the past, 98 to 99% of incoming kindergarten students have participated in the program. The Vandalia Division of Police is extremely proud of this program.
About the Safety Patrol Liaison Activities
The Division maintains a good relationship with the Safety Patrol Coordinators at the various schools. The Division hosts the annual Safety Patrol Skate Party, which is usually held at Skateworld. Various prizes are donated by the community. The students enjoy pizza and sodas while skating.
In addition to scheduling the skate party, the Crime Prevention Officer makes numerous visits to Demmitt and Helke Schools to speak with the Safety Patrol members. The topics the officer speaks on are about how important their job is and to encourage them to do a great job.
The Division continues to support the safety patrol program and offers assistance whenever needed.
About the Third Grade Seatbelt Program
The Division offers the Third Grade Seatbelt Program. This program is sponsored by the Ohio Department of Public Safety and is intended to teach third-graders the importance of wearing their seatbelts. The program is presented to students attending Helke Elementary, Demmitt Elementary and St. Christopher Catholic School.