By Brooke Curley
SAFFORD – Educational to adults while being friendly and outgoing to the kids, Safford Police Chief Joe Brugman read two books and gave local kids a tour of his patrol vehicle Wednesday.
After introducing himself to the children and parents, Brugman discussed TASER weapons, his uniform and stranger danger. Following these discussions, he read two books and guided the tour of his patrol vehicle. Not to forget or bore the adults in the room, Brugman also discussed the number of police calls in Safford, which were just under 10,000 last year. Brugman also discussed his education and why he decided to be a police officer.
“I always wanted to be a policeman,” Brugman said. “Our jobs can be dangerous, but it’s a great job. It’s a lot of fun. You get to see something different every day.”
The Safford-City Graham County Library has had a wide variety of events and visitors over the past year. Everything from martial art demonstrations to a musical performance by Ocotillo Winds has brought recognition to the library. However, when parents heard that children could tour a police vehicle, they made the effort to attend.
Dove Schnebly, local mom and frequent visitor of the Safford Library, told Gila Valley Central that the library programs are engaging. Schnebly also said she was impressed with Brugman’s educational level and his interaction with the children.
“The Safford library always has programs that are engaging for my 2-year-old,”Schnebly said. “When I heard that he would get to look at a police car, I tried to be on time. Brugman was very interactive with the children, asking multiple children about police work. Brugman gave a brief history of how he decided to be a policeman, (and) I was surprised to hear he had a master in education and had done pre-med. He gave worthwhile statistics to the adults while still being entertaining children. Overall, it was a very educational for me and my toddler.”
After the presentation, Brugman told Gila Valley Central about the importance of having a connection with the youth and community.
“One of my favorite and one of the most important things that we do is reaching out to the community and especially to our youth,” Brugman said. “The youth is the key for our future, and I’m going to do everything I can to make sure that we’re a safe community, and we’re going to do that through our young people.”
For more information on the Safford City-Graham County schedule of events visit the library at 808 S. 7th Ave., or visit their website at http://cityofsafford.us/index.aspx?nid=336.