Officials weren’t sure how many to expect at the Lewisville Police Department’s open house, but by the end of the day, more than 600 people took advantage of the opportunity to meet the city’s men and women in blue.
“We couldn’t be more pleased with the turnout, especially with young people of all ages from teens to tots,” said Police Chief Russ Kerbow. “I thought the event was amazing.”
Kerbow wasn’t the only one pleased with the results.
Angela Fleming came to the open house with her son and husband. The family enjoyed getting an up-close view of the police department, including exploring the SWAT vehicles.
“We’ve really enjoyed this event,” Fleming said. “My son Blayne loved crawling through the police vehicles.”
The LPD hosted the open house from 5 to 9 p.m. on its 78th birthday. As residents arrived at the police station’s front parking lot, they were greeted with the department’s new SWAT vehicle and its Armored Personnel Carrier, or Bearcat, various patrol vehicles and enough hot dogs to feed their families. Both K9 officers showed off their partners to crowds lined up around the fencing. The Lewisville Fire Department was also on scene with an engine.
Some residents, who hadn’t heard about the event, stopped by when they saw the crowds in the parking lot.
“We just heard about this event and had to come,” said Josh Yen, whose son was dressed in his police uniform. “He wants to be a cop or a firefighter – or both. He’s having a lot of fun. He really enjoyed crawling around the SWAT vechiles.”
After exploring everything outside, residents were invitied inside for a tour of the station and city jail. Booths were set up inside by various community groups including the Children’s Advocacy Center of Denton County, LPD dispatchers, LPD recruiting and teen court.
The Lewisville Citizen Police Academy Alumni Association (LCPAAA) had tables set up to provide free child IDs. The cards can be used by parents if their child is missing. It includes all the vital information such has height, weight and hair color as well as the child’s fingerprint and photo. More than 70 cards were made for parents. The group also sold “We’ve got your back” T-shirts supporting the LPD.
The LPD hosted its first open house in 2014 when it turned 75 years old. The department skipped 2015 and then last year held the event in the Wayne Ferguson Plaza.
“We decided to move it back to the police department, and I believe we will continue to do it there in the years to come,” Kerbow said. “Our goal was pretty simple – just open the doors to our facilities and our people and serve as many hot dogs as we could.”
The LPD is planning a police in the plaza event this year sometime in late October or early November.