EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - It has been a week of food and fun for everyone that comes down to the Fall Festival, even for the men and women in uniform.
Evansville police say that being able to talk with festival-goers helps them bond with the community they serve.
Hundreds of thousands of people will walk up and down West Franklin during the first full week of October. Members of EPD are taking the large crowds as an opportunity as well; an opportunity to build meaningful relationships between the cops and the community.
“This is a rare opportunity in our profession where you can have face to face, one on one contact with tens of thousands of people in a day, and then you get to do it day after day," said Evansville Police Sergeant Jason Cullum. "So we love being down here.”
Sgt. Cullum says that having so many people in one place does require a different type of approach. He says each day, the officers working the festival will meet and go over the “mission” of how they’ll best protect the festival-goers.
“What we’re looking at here is being a large street festival," Sgt. Cullum said. "But there are public safety concerns that have to be remembered even while we’re down here having a good time.”
At the same time, this festival allows each officer to meet with the people they are charged with protecting and serving.
“Imagery is important, but this is hands-on engagement,” said Sgt. Cullum. "We’re down here and we’re enjoying the same activities as everyone else and we staff this with the understanding that this is one of the largest street festivals in the country, so all of the public safety resources that you would expect to see at an event like that, you see it down here.”
Finding that perfect combination of keeping you safe and making sure you can have fun.