Public Safety Services to Host Third Annual Bash

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The Sam Houston State Department of Public Safety Services is hosting the third annual Kats Safety Bash today at 6 p.m. in the Bowers Stadium parking lot.

September is National Campus Safety Month, and UPD is partnering with over 40 different safety vendors, so that students, faculty, and the community of Huntsville are able to meet and learn from safety professionals.

“This is a way that we can bridge the gap between public safety and the community,” said University Police Department Officer Jeffrey Butterworth. “We want people to get out and interact with these professionals, so that when they have a problem they feel more comfortable approaching someone they know, or an agency they’re familiar with so it makes it more comfortable for them.”

There will be several replicas of different kinds of accidents that students can participate in. There will be a DWI stimulation pedal cart donated by Texas A&M. The participants will be able to drive the pedal cart with DWI goggles through a coned course. After the course the Montgomery County sheriff’s office will issue the participant a citation, and they will be given a sobriety test. If the person fails the sobriety test they will be sent to one of the local judges, and then sent to jail. The mock jail cell is being provided by Crime Stoppers.

“It’s all in fun, we are showing the importance of safety,” Butterworth said. “This is just the process of how everything goes. When you’re in the jail, you get to take pictures.”

The Department of Residence Life provided a shed that will be made to look like a dorm room, and then burned. The Fire Department is going to be on scene to assist with putting out the fire.

“What we’re trying to do is show the importance of fire safety.” Butterworth said. “How quick fire detection goes off, how quick a fire starts, and how quick it spreads.”

Another demonstration will be shown of the Jaws of Life, with a vehicle donated by Snag’s Wrecker Service. The fire department is going to rescue a person from inside by taking off the top, the doors and cutting up the vehicle.

A few of the other demonstrations will be a life flight helicopter from Memorial Hermann, and victim vehicles that have been in actual DWI accidents.

“The vehicles are mangled as they were from the accident.” Butterworth said. “It’s moving, it’s a way that we can see the reality of it, and hopefully we don’t see the reality of it here in town.”

Butterworth said that UPD has seen several students that have never been pulled over in their life, so they are also doing a traffic stop demonstration to show what all is involved. They will explain why officers have to do what they do, and let students participate as an officer so they can get both perspectives.

David Yebra, director of emergency preparedness, said it is easy to get confused on policies towards safety.

“We get overwhelmed with information from the news, and it’s easy to get complacent,” Yebra said. “You only get one shot at life.”

According to Yebra safety can be increased by everyday actions like talking to friends and family about issues. Safety is a subject in which everyone can make progress in.

“We can improve the safety of our community by taking care of each other.” Yebra said. “If your friend is texting while driving tell them to put the phone down. Sometimes it takes someone else to help you fight for your safety.”

The KatSafe website provides up-to-date information about campus policy and emergency preparedness. Emergency notifications are sent through desktop messages, phone calls, emails, and text messages. There is also a guidebook phone app that students and faculty can download.

The Kats Safety Bash is free and open to the public. To get more details please call 936-294-1800.