Turlock Associated Police Officers are rewarding children they see engaging in safe behaviors with free swim passes to any of Turlock’s local community pools now until the end of the open season.
TAPO members will hand out passes to those children they observe being safe, including those who are actively:
- Wearing a bike helmet
- Wearing seatbelts
- Using crosswalks
- Looking both ways before crossing the street
Every Turlock police officer will have passes to share beginning Thursday, but to ensure everyone’s safety, TAPO asks that parents keep their children away from officers engaged in an active investigation or interaction with a suspect.
Normally, entry to the pools is $1 for those 17 years old and under, and $2 for those 18 and over. The passes handed out in reward for safe behaviors observed will wave the child’s fee.
“With temperatures this high, it is not uncommon to have kids playing in unsafe canals and swimming holes,” said Russell Holeman, President of TAPO and a 15-year veteran of the Turlock Police Department. “We want to encourage them to stay safe and healthy by swimming in lifeguard-supervised swimming pools, but not all families can afford the admission fees. That’s why TAPO invested in these pool passes – we want to give every kid in our community the chance to safely enjoy the last few weeks of summer before school starts back up again.”
Columbia Park pool, located at 600 Columbia St., is open Monday through Thursday from 12:15 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. and Saturday and Sundays noon to 5 p.m.
Pitman High School pool, located at 2525 W. Christoffersen Parkway., is open 12:15 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.
According to TAPO, the Turlock High School pool is now closed for the season, so although the passes show that pool as an option, it will not be open to the public even with a pass.
The season ends Aug. 7 for the two remaining public pools at Columbia Park and Pitman High School. Children must be at least eight years old to get into the pools without an adult.
T.A.P.O. also offers these water safety tips for people to remember when around water:
- Take advantage of swim classes offered by the City of Turlock.
- Use a buddy system and never swim unaccompanied.
- Actively supervise and never leave a child unattended near water.
- Be cautious around natural bodies of water like rivers and lakes.
- Always have young children wear life jackets around water.
- If you have a pool, install and use barriers that are at least four feet high.
- If you go boating, wear a life jacket.
- Avoid alcohol use; alcohol impairs judgment, balance, and coordination.
“I am very glad to see TAPO get involved in promoting water safety, “said Karen Packwood, City of Turlock Recreation Senior Supervisor. “Each year over 1,000 children die from drowning in the United States. That’s why it’s so important that children have access to a safe place to swim in the summer. I encourage parents to talk about swim safety with officers as they’re out in the community – being better informed could save your child’s life.”
In case of emergency they add:
- If a child is missing, immediately check the water first.
- If someone falls into a body of water, be cautious about jumping in after them.
- Know how and when to call 911 or the local emergency number.
- If you own a pool, have appropriate equipment, such as reaching equipment.
- Consider enrolling in first aid and CPR/AED courses to learn how to prevent and respond to emergencies.
The City of Turlock aquatic playgrounds are also open to the public, with two locations to choose from: Columbia Park and Broadway Park, located at 501 N. Broadway. Both aquatic playgrounds are open everyday 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. until Sept. 30.
Remember the heat of the day occurs between 2 and 6 p.m., so be sure to protect yourself from the sun, stay hydrated, and be safe around pools when cooling off.