Police pool party coming soon

Summer vacation is already winding down but there’s at least one more event ahead that area children look forward to.

The 2013 Marietta Policeman’s Pool Party is scheduled for Aug. 7 from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. at the Marietta Aquatic Center and organizers are expecting it to be the biggest year yet.

“We have 800 tickets to give away, 400 for girls and 400 for boys,” said MPD Sgt. Bob Heddleston.

Free tickets can be picked up at the Marietta Police Department clerk’s desk at 301 Putnam St. from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.

While children of all ages are encouraged to attend the event, tickets are only available for children ages 5 to 11 and make the ticket holder eligible for one of hundreds of prizes to be given away at the event, said Heddleston.

“There will be 100 prizes for girls and 100 for boys, so kids have a pretty good chance of winning a prize,” he said.

Included in those prizes are bicycles, basketball hoops, Legos, Barbies, dolls, computers and more, said MPD Patrolman Dianna Hively.

“It’s a lot of sporting equipment. We do it so that kids will go outside and be active,” she said.

Adults and children outside the prize eligibility age range are also welcome at the event and do not need a ticket, said Heddleston.

The event has been sponsored annually by the Fraternal Order of Police Pioneer City Lodge 12 since the 1930s, he said.

Typically the FOP holds a fund drive in January or February and raises between $6,000 to $10,000 for the event, Heddleston said.

The idea behind the event is to give children the chance to positively interact with police officers, explained Marietta Police Capt. Jeff Waite.

“It lets kids see that police officers are someone they can approach if they’re in trouble and police officers are their friends,” he said.

Several uniformed officers will be at the pool party, and one of the MPD K9s will be on hand for children to pet, said Heddleston.

“A lot of the kids like to go around the pool and get autographs from all the officers,” added Heddleston, who has attended every annual party since starting with the department more than 30 years ago.

In addition to swimming and prizes, a few large inflatables will be set up nearby.

Until recently, the annual parties consisted of a picnic held at the Washington County Fairgrounds. However, the late summer heat and the logistics of serving food to more than 1,000 people made the pool a better option, said Heddleston.

Last summer was the fourth year for the pool party, and it drew more than 1,200 people.

In the event of rain, the party will be rescheduled for Aug. 14.

For more information, contact the Marietta Police Department at 376-2007.