HPD to hold Neighborhood Safety Fair Saturday

To curb accelerated crime rates in specific areas of Hollister,
the police department is hosting another Neighborhood Safety Fair
on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Hollister Plaza
Apartments on Hillcrest Road.
To curb accelerated crime rates in specific areas of Hollister, the police department is hosting another Neighborhood Safety Fair on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Hollister Plaza Apartments on Hillcrest Road.

Since the first safety fair in 1999, their intent has been for police to better identify with people living nearby and increase their awareness of safety issues. The fair includes four one-hour classes to educate residents on matters of crime.

This year’s classes include gang awareness, medical insurance, domestic violence and crime prevention.

Officials measure each Safety Fair’s success by attendance, said HPD Capt. Bob Vasquez. He said past fairs have attracted about 200 people.

Vasquez emphasized that all members of the public are invited, not just people from the neighborhoods in which they are held.

Councilmember Peggy Corrales works with a number of city agencies on the fair and takes pride in the amount of community involvement.

“Every agency having to do with health in San Benito County is there,” Corrales said. “There’s the fire department, the DARE car, the San Benito Health Foundation, AA…”

The origin of the program in Hollister dates back to 1997. At that time the police department called it the “Gonzalez Drive Project” for the neighborhood. When the city moved the fair but did not change its name, response declined.

Since adopting the Neighborhood Safety Fair name in 1999, attendance progressively increased, Corrales said.

She said other additions to Saturday’s fair are a “little Halloween parade” and contests for kids. Vasquez said other events, such as a free hot dog barbecue, make the event “a family atmosphere.”

The next fair after Saturday will be held Jan. 25, 2003, again at the Del Rio Apartments. After that, the department plans a return to the original Gonzalez Drive area.

“We don’t want to lose track of what we’ve developed,” Vasquez said.

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