Daly City native Elizabeth Santiago was never afraid of the police as a child.
The 22-year-old Daly City police cadet said she wants to train to become a K-9 cop, but first she is going to volunteer with kids in Daly City to show them not to be afraid of police and other officials during the annual Kops and Kids Family Day.
Santiago said she first volunteered at Kops and Kids Family Day two years ago to get further involved with the youth in her community while on her way to becoming a police officer.
“For some reason, most kids are fearful of officers,” she said. “This lets kids know what’s going on and who we are. I think it lessens their fears.”
She said Family Day is productive because she and other members of the department were able to talk to a lot of kids from the area and show what the department does.
Santiago said she hopes to enter the Police Academy in the fall.
The 19th annual Kops and Kids Family Day is set for June 5. According to Serra Bowl General Manager Mike Leong, the purpose of the event is to give Bay Area kids a chance to talk and interact with the police in a recreational setting.
“We want the kids to see the police are nice people, too,” he said. “We realized that kids can go one way or another when young. So we thought it would be good to introduce them to officers in a recreational, friendly way instead of getting arrested on the street. This way, they can choose a side.”
The first Family Day was organized nearly 20 years ago by Leong and the Daly City Police Department to “promote friendship and respect between youngsters and their local public safety officers.”
The June Family Day is held in Daly City, but is open to everyone. Last year, Leong said more than 1,200 kids came during the day to bowl.
“It’s great to watch,” Leong said. “And it gets bigger and bigger every year.”
IF YOU GO
19th annual Kops and Kids Family Day
When: June 5, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Where: Serra Bowl, 3301 Junipero Serra Blvd., Daly City
Why: To promote friendship and respect between youngsters and their local public safety officers
Source: Daly City