Several different public safety agencies, both locally and from the state, will participate in the free event, which is designed to allow people the chance to get to understand more about police, firefighters and emergency personnel and the equipment that they use.
The Public Safety Awareness Expo was first held at Lincoln Park in Jersey City two years ago, but the venue has been changed to accommodate more people, as well as better handle the apparatus on display.
"We're thrilled that we're having the event again," said Assemblywoman Joan Quigley, an officer with the 200 Club who helped to organize the Expo. "It was wonderful the first time we held it, but we're hoping to draw a bigger crowd by moving it to Liberty State Park and the access to the Light Rail makes it easier to get to. It's an absolutely beautiful setting and we're hoping to convince people to come."
Most of Hudson County's law enforcement and firefighting corps will be represented during the course of the day. Some of the organizations committed to participating will be the Jersey City Fire Department, the Jersey City Police Department, the Bayonne Police Department, the Hudson County's Sheriff's Office and the Hudson County Prosecutor's Office.
Also, the Kearny Police and Fire Departments, the North Bergen, Union City and Weehawken Police Departments, the North Hudson Regional Fire and Rescue, as well as the Port Authority Police, the New Jersey State Police and the New Jersey Park Rangers will also participate.
McGruff, the Crime Dog, Smokey the Bear and Woodsey the Owl will be on hand for the youngsters.
There will be demonstrations of all kinds, geared for people of all ages, the curosity-seeking adult and the wide-eyed child.
For example, the NHRFR will display its high angle rescue approach, a strategy designed to help someone who might have fallen into a hard-to-reach area, such as the cliffs of the Palisades.
The North Bergen police department will give a presentation on gun safety and Internet safety. The New Jersey State Police will give a bomb squad presentation, utilizing its robot. There will be a bicycle safety course, designed by the Kearny police department. The Jersey City fire department will give a demonstration how they extricate victims from a burning building.
And there will be plenty of vehicles on hand to examine first hand.
"It's a way to showcase the tremendous services that are collectively provided in the county," said Jeff Welz, the co-director of the North Hudson Regional Fire and Rescue and a first vice-president in the 200 Club. "It's a great way for the public to get to see the equipment that we use. The kids get to sit in police cars and climb on fire trucks and see what an ambulance is all about. The adults can learn about the different services that are provided."
Added Welz, "It's also great for the young adults who may be considering a career in public safety. They get a chance to meet and talk with other public safety officers. It's a fun day, but it's also an educational day as well." Welz said that he was impressed with the amount of participation the event has received throughout the county. "We really have received some solid support in putting the event together," said Welz, who said the event was postponed last year due to preparations for OpSail 2000. "We're really happy to be able to bring the day back. It's a great day and a good, fun family community outing."
Quigley also believes that the day brings a sense of togetherness between public safety colleagues.
"Many of the officers get the chance to work with and meet officers from other towns and departments for the first time," Quigley said. "They form a sense of camaraderie because of a fun day like this. It really is encouraging to see."
Quigley said that she can only hope for two things to take place.
"As long as the weather is with us, then we can hope for a bigger crowd than we had the last time," Quigley said. "I hope the public can come out and join us."