Keeping kids safe during Christmas break - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Keeping kids safe during Christmas break

VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) -

Thousands of south Georgia kids will spend the next couple of weeks out of school.

Valdosta is one city where Christmas break is beginning.

Crossing guards, police officers, and patrol cars. It's a sight that any parent likes to see near their child's school and today safety officials were everywhere.

"Big problem today is, all the schools get out at almost the same time; they're out for the holidays, they're not paying that much attention, everyone else is out shopping for the holidays, they're trying to finish up their last couple days of work before the holidays. So they're not expecting to see a bunch of children out," said Sgt. Alex Adair, Valdosta Police Department.

With thousands of children going home for Christmas break, Valdosta Police officers will be out in full force making sure they're safe. And everyone seems to be a little more protective this season.

"This year especially children are on our mind after what's just recently happened," said Adair.

"You're more aware of your surroundings, just walking the kids to school this morning, you're just more aware of what's going on around you," said mother, Dorothy Burkett.

Sergeant Adair says even with more officers patrolling over the break, they still need all citizens to keep an eye out.

"We watch for children specifically, we watch for how traffic moves in the neighborhoods, anyone that doesn't belong in the neighborhoods, and that's something we count on the parents and the kids even, letting us know when someone is out of place that doesn't belong there," said Adair.

And officers ask residents to be mindful of little ones on shiny new Christmas bikes.

"We'll just be really protective of the kids, you know not being in bad areas," said Burkett. 

As south Georgia children continue to be dismissed, look for early 11 and 12 o'clock school speed zones.

Officers also ask parents to stay outside with their children as they play in the neighborhoods.

Copyright 2012 WALB.  All rights reserved.

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