APD builds relationships with the community, educates children on summer safety

Summer is in full swing and so is the Austin Police Department.

Officers spent Saturday meeting children at the annual Lakeline Mall Safe Summer event.

Children were able to touch APD vehicles, equipment and hang out with the Austin Fire Department.

Regina Tullos lifted her child up on the fire truck and let her touch the different items on the engine. She said she tries to bring her little girl to most touch a truck events so her daughter isn’t frightened by them. "Just in case there is ever in her lifetime an emergency she's familiar with it and it's not intimidating or scary," Tullos said.

The annual event provides parents with the opportunity to introduce their children to first responders and provides first responders with the opportunity to form relationships with today's youth.

Officer Frank Creasey said community events allow them to form bonds with the community. "It's an opportunity for kids to become comfortable with police officers and get to know that we are here to help them and they can come to us for help instead of being afraid of us," said Creasey.

Officer Frank Creasey said summers can lead to an uptick in juvenile crime one most commonly seen is car thefts. According to APD's latest crime and traffic report there were 2,119 auto thefts in 2016.

APD's auto theft crime unit said summer is a prime time for car burglaries at parks.

People tend to leave their car unattended and on to keep the car cool.

At times people leave behind keys and other valuables.