The resurrection of a community-wide celebration encouraging interaction between law enforcement (and other) agencies and local children appears to have been well worth the effort.

The resurrection of a community-wide celebration encouraging interaction between law enforcement (and other) agencies and local children appears to have been well worth the effort.

Shawnee Police Department Officer Vivian Lozano-Stafford said last weekend's Cops N Kids event drew a large crowd — yielding about 1,500 participants. The last event of its kind here was a decade ago.

The SPD — along with tribal, county and state emergency responders and agencies — joined together to spend the day with the community, offering activities all afternoon at Woodland Veterans Park.

“We gave away T-shirts and goodie bags to the first 500 kids who came and we ran out,” she said. “Many people didn't even register.”

Activities included games, a dunk tank, face painting, inflatables, finger printing, a petting zoo, prizes and giveaways, sack races, three-legged races, clowns, car seat checks and police car rides, as well as a helicopter and a disc jockey, she said.

“We really appreciate everyone who volunteered, and supported the effort with time, money and/or donations,” she said. “They made the event possible.”

Cross Connection Church (C3), who donated meals as part of its outreach program, cooked around 1,200 to 1,300 hot dogs, Lozano-Stafford said.

She said Kona Ice gave away close to 1,000 free snow cones.

“One thing that really meant a lot to us was the way people came out to support the event,” she said. “For example, the guys that came with OG&E hadn't had a day off for a month until that Saturday — and they chose to spend it with the kids in the community.”

Lozano-Stafford said the SPD hopes to make it an annual event.

“I'm looking forward to next year, she said. “I can't wait to see how the event grows.”