Cop cards return

SANDUSKY The Sandusky Police Department has brought an old marketing gimmick back to its starting lineup. With the hel
Sandusky Register Staff
May 24, 2010

SANDUSKY

The Sandusky Police Department has brought an old marketing gimmick back to its starting lineup.

With the help of a schools program, the department is re-introducing "Cop Cards."

Similar to baseball cards, each of the 48 cards includes the officer's picture and name on its front and a brief biography and positive message on its back.

"It's important for children to know the officers in the community so they're not afraid or run when they come in contact with one," said project director for Sandusky City Schools Safe School/Healthy Students program Marlene Boas.

Boas, who works to improve community and education relations, joined forces with the police department to bring back the cards after a decade-long hiatus.

"We've been working on this for six months," said assistant police Chief Charlie Sams. "Everyone came up with a saying and provided their own information."

The cards were originally designed to bring kids and police officers together, eliminating the fear many children have of uniformed officers.

Sandusky police Lt. Phil Frost said when the cards were introduced in 1996, children flocked to the station.

"We had kids waiting in the lobby for officers to come out," he said. "When they found out some of the guys came out the back entrance, they started waiting there, too."

Sams said the cards should be in officers' hands in January and they're considering what prizes to offer children who collect the entire set.

"Anytime you can have kids and officers interact in a positive atmosphere, it's great," he said.

He said the best way to get a card from an officer is to remain on the sidewalk and wave.

"We don't want anyone running in the street or stopping the officers while they're on call," he said. "Kids can come to the department or ask for them when they see an officer out and about."

When the cards were first introduced, Sams said officers sought donations to help with the cost.

Final costs are not in, but the Safe Schools/Healthy Students program intends to foot the bill for printing the cards.

"It's a really great program," Boas said. "It forms an awareness, showing the kids they don't have to be scared and run away from an officer. It will show the community the officers are not only fighting crime, but maintaining a visible, positive role in the community as well."