The annual “Cookout with Cops” was a big success Aug. 23, with nearly 150 senior citizens participating in learning sessions, leisurely conversation and a free dinner served by the Sartell Police Department and other volunteers.
Because of the threat of rain, organizers decided to host the event in the St. Francis Xavier Church’s meeting hall rather than Watab Park, where it usually takes place.
Police officers and other volunteers cooked and served the picnic lunch, which consisted of hot dogs, hamburgers, chips and refreshments. The cookout is a way for seniors and police officers (as well as other emergency personnel) to get know one another and to share concerns about safety issues.
At the Aug. 23 cookout, several speakers shared insights about fire prevention (including the importance of detectors for fire and carbon monoxide), other forms of safety and how seniors should always safely dispose of medications they will not use. One officer shared alarming news about how heroin use is on the upswing across the nation. Many heroin users begin their drug habit by first using medications such as oxycontin, which young people sometimes get their hands on by sneaking such pills from the medicine chests of parents or grandparents.