Back-to-school safety fair held at Avenues Mall

Organizers say event is a great way to get families ready for school

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – In just a few days, students in Duval County will head back to school and the Jacksonville Sheriffs Office wants to make sure they are doing it safely.

They teamed up with the Avenues Mall Saturday for the annual safety fair.

Not only did families get hands on lessons on how agencies keep our area safe, they also got an up-close look at the equipment and animals that help them do it.

For Alexis Schlueter that was the best part.

"It's cool seeing how the dogs search and rescue people in the fire like for the fire team," Schlueter said. "It's cool how to see inside of the cars like from the fire squad and the police and Sheriff and just stuff like that."

That's just why her dad Shane brought her and her little sister out.

"It kind of exposes them to everything you get to see swat team fire department show what Jacksonville does for the area," he said.

From Fire and Rescue, to the SWAT team and the Bomb Squad, there were more than 60 safety awareness exhibits here, along with officers ready to explain it all and answer questions.

Not only were there fun safety events outside the mall but inside too.

This is the 16th annual event and organizers say it's a great way to get families ready for school.

With every piece of information shared, organizer believe it's creating a stronger connection between the sheriffs office and the community.

"We have so many agencies here thats here to assist the Parents and the kids," Gary Dickinson with JSO said. "Everything from the secret service doing fingerprints to tips about crossing over on crosswalks bicycle safety, you name it the agency is here that can assist and help everyone from senior citizens right down to little kids."

A day of safety and fun that will hopefully make for a safer school year.