Police are working to spread the message to parents to make sure their children know they are there to help.
Police in the beach town of Wildwood, N.J. are working to spread the message to parents to make sure their children know they are there to help.
New signs have been posted at several kiosks along the boardwalk reminding parents to talk to their kids.
Officers Andrew Kolimaga and Rhameir Edwards are the faces of the campaign that includes the message:
"Please stop telling your children we will haul them off to jail if they are bad. We want them to run TO us if they are scared, NOT be scared of US."
If a child lost or in distress, Police Chief Robert Regalbuto says and officer is likely the person who will help reunite the boy or girl with their parents, and they have to know that it's OK to approach them for help.
"Over the course of a season, we hear hundreds of parents tell their children, 'Don't do anything bad or he (the officer) is going to arrest you,' " Regalbuto says "We don't want children to be fearful of police officers. We want them to know that police officers are their friends and are there to help them."
In addition to the message, there is information for parents on how to contact the police department is on each sign.
The signage and space on the kiosks, along with the artwork was donated to police by In Plaza Advertising, Inc. of Southampton, Pa.
"We are trying to make the environment safer for residents, visitors and children," the chief noted. "It's a very large area with bells, whistles and lights that attract children, so they're not paying attention. If we can give kids, mom and dad a little bit more information, it's a good thing."