Police support kids safety education in Orange Cove

Orange Cove Police Department partners with Texas company to bring safety-related books to local students

Orange Cove Police and Fire Department as seen from the alley running along the south side of the building. (Kenny Goodman)
Serena Bettis
Published August 1, 2023  • 
2:00 pm

ORANGE COVE – The police department is currently in its fourth year of a collaborative program that brings safety-based informational books to local kids.

The Orange Cove Police Department (OCPD) partners on the program with LAW Publications, a Texas-based company that creates and distributes educational materials specifically for law enforcement. Orange Cove Chief of Police Javier Peña said the department worked with a LAW Publications representative in July to fundraise and is now awaiting word on how many materials they can obtain.

“(LAW Publications) have so many different resources and topics for our community youth that they can help us gain and have information available for our youth program,” Peña said.

The materials from LAW Publications include books, informational pamphlets and coloring books on a variety of topics like suicide prevention, bullying and drug use. OCPD uses these materials as a way to teach kids how to handle difficult or dangerous situations.

“Every year, we are asked by our (LAW Publications) representative what the biggest issue in the community is,” Peña said. “Last year we concentrated on suicide prevention, and this year we concentrated more on the fentanyl use and the bullying part of it.”

LAW Publications offers materials on child safety, domestic violence, cyber security, disaster preparedness, conflict management, alcohol abuse prevention and much more. Local law enforcement agencies work with the company to customize materials for their area as well.

Gregg Febbraio, LAW Publications vice president, said the company aims to strengthen trust and develop partnerships “between law enforcement and the diverse communities they serve.” He said they create materials for a wide range of ages that “are written with a positive attitude and focus on important safety topics facing communities today.”

“Safety-related educational materials … contribute to youth development by empowering decision-making skills, fostering responsible behavior and increasing risk awareness,” Febbraio said.

OCPD distributes the materials in schools and at community-building events like National Night Out. Peña said the OCPD student resource officers host assemblies at the elementary schools to hand out the books and teach students about general safety.

“They take this time to educate the children, give them some booklets that talk about the principles of bullying or stealing and just how to be a better student,” Peña said. 

Law enforcement agencies are able to work with representatives from LAW Publications to obtain materials free of charge through community sponsorships, typically from local businesses and other professionals. Sponsors receive recognition through advertisements in the publication and the local agency will also add a letter to their community as the first page of the materials alongside customization of the cover to include important agency information, Febbraio said.

“By utilizing sponsorships, local businesses are informed about what their law enforcement agency is doing in their community, and the agency can connect with local business leaders,” Febbraio said.

Peña said that feedback from the community has been very positive since the department began participating in the LAW Publications program, so much so that people often request more materials.

“I believe this is a really good program for our community,” Peña said. “It’s something they can value and gain from it, because it’s all for them.”

Serena Bettis
General Assignment Reporter