Sheriff’s bike rodeo delivers fun and safety for local kids

Published 12:10 am Sunday, July 31, 2022

SALISBURY – Community Programs Deputy Ryan Walker of the Rowan Sheriff’s Office said the department is trying to do more community outreach. The office fielded the idea to Dick’s Sporting Goods and Walker said they were “all about it.”

The store gave them the space in the parking lot, and the office has worked with the store recently for shop with a cop events as well.

Walker said kids filtered in to the rodeo throughout the day with their parents. The office encouraged kids to bring their own bikes, but had some they could use as well. There were free helmets provided through a state grant and ice cream from Salisbury Police Department’s “NICE” truck.

“Any time we can do a community event to show a law enforcement officer is a kid’s friend, that’s exactly what we need to be doing,” School Resource Deputy Tommy Cato said. “We’re just thankful to be able to do that today.”

The officers helped kids get their helmets fitted properly and guided them through basic bicycle safety like following signs, using hand signals and where to ride on the road. Cato noted many of the kids who came to the rodeo are too young to take to the roads on their own, but the office does want them to know what to do.

Walker said kids do not often see school resource officers outside of school and the rodeo was another opportunity to stay in touch with the kids they see during the school year.

“A lot of times they only see us in the school, and they don’t know we’re out here,” Walker said. “They think we’re just in the school all day, so this is a way for them to see do things other than being school resource officers.”

Tony Brock, a rising sixth grader at Knox Middle School, said he needs a new chain on his bike at home, but he would like to ride more because it is fun to go outside with his friends. He pointed to the hand signs as something new he learned at the rodeo

Jackson Frick said he was having fun at the rodeo. He said he learned about the hand signs and dealing with debris on the road. One of the obstacles was a pair of boards. Frick said going over them didn’t scare him.

He said he likes that bikes are on two wheels and you have to balance on them. He agreed it feels a bit dangerous in a fun way.

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About Carl Blankenship

Carl Blankenship has covered education for the Post since December 2019. Before coming to Salisbury he was a staff writer for The Avery Journal-Times in Newland and graduated from Appalachian State University in 2017, where he was editor of The Appalachian.

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