Carson City Sheriff's Open House to draw deputies and kids together

It's usually something people pay to get out of, not be thrown into.

But Saturday's Cops and Kids Sheriff's Open House presents an opportunity to be put behind the bars of the old Carson City jail's manual lock-and-key doors.

"Of course, we won't actually be locking people in there," said Lisa Davis, substance abuse prevention coordinator for the sheriff's office and coordinator for Saturday's four-hour event. "What we're doing is a couple of fund-raisers for our prevention programs. This will be the last chance to get jailed in the old Carson City jail."

That's because that jail will be demolished later this year to make way for a new administration building, set to begin construction in April 2006.

"We've got a table set up in there with a card game and there will be an old safe and a sign to hold up that says, 'I got jailed in Carson City,'" Davis said.

The second Cops and Kids open house begins at 10 a.m. Saturday and continues until 2 p.m. This year's event includes hands-on activities sponsored by nearly 20 outside agencies, like The Mentor Center, The Children's Museum of Northern Nevada and The Boys and Girls Club of Western Nevada.

There will also be organizations from the Carson City Sheriff's Office, including the Motorcycle Patrol, Reserves, Posse and volunteers. The sheriff's office mobile command unit will be there this year with a dispatcher inside explaining its features.

"One of the important parts of cops and kids is safety," Davis said. "So often you see on TV the image of cops out to get you. We're trying to create a security with the kids so they don't feel that the cop is a bogeyman. We want them to know that a cop is a safe person they can go to and ask for help."

Except for the fund-raising events at Kids and Cops, Saturday's open house is free. Hot dogs, potato chips and drinks will be provided for children.

"The bottom line is to build strong rapport with the children in the community," said Sheriff Ken Furlong. "I think the public has a right and a need to know more about what we do at the sheriff's office."

Bike raffle tickets are $1 a piece or six tickets for $5. Eight refurbished bikes will be raffled off between 1-2 p.m. and given away with a bike helmet.

There will also be an opportunity for adults to provide feedback on the new $12 million administrative building. A permanent display of plans, including an artist's rendition, will be up in the detention center visiting area beginning this Saturday, where the contractor, construction manager and architect, will be to take comments from 11 a.m. - 1 p.m.

Also child identification kits will be given out this year. The kits include clear inking pads, a photo card and a DNA kit.

Musser Street in front of the sheriff's office will be blocked off during the event. A hypnotist's show begins at noon and audience volunteers will become part of the show.

"Oh no," Furlong said when asked if he'll become part of Dan Kimm's "Tranced" show. "I'm not going to be hypnotized."

n Contact reporter Maggie O'Neill at or 881-1219.

If You Go

What: Second annual Cops and Kids Sheriff's Open House

When: 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday

Where: Sheriff's Office parking lot on Musser Street in front of the courthouse

Charge: Free to children, except for raffles and pictures in the old Carson City jail

More information: Call Lisa Davis at 887-2020 ext. 1907.

Also: The presentation on the new sheriff's administrative building will be from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday during Cops and Kids. The free Hypno-Comedy show "Tranced" begins at noon.


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