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Glendale PD urges parents to discuss safety with kids

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Police took to the Glendale Foothills Library Wednesday to encourage parents to talk with their kids about safety as part of "Take 25," a child safety campaign.

"Take 25 is about parents taking 25 minutes out of their day to talk to their children about safety," said Glendale Police Detective Sgt. Mathew Beunler.

At Wednesday's event, parents received tips on how to discuss safety issues with their kids, while children were fingerprinted and met McGruff the Crime Dog.

Beunler said that too often, parents leave it to police officers to teach their kids about safety. But police want to make sure that kids are comfortable with talking with their parents about safety concerns that may come up.

"Somebody is approaching them after school or they're being messaged by somebody on the Internet," he said. "We want the children to feel comfortable going to the parent and having those safety conversations with them."

Take 25 is a national child safety public awareness campaign created by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. It takes place in May because May 25 is National Missing Children's Day, which was first established by President Ronald Reagan in 1983.

The NCMEC said teaching children about safety saves lives. In 84 percent of cases, children use what they've been taught to escape potential abductions.

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About the Author

Years with the company: I started on January 2, 2006.

Education: I was born in San Antonio, Texas, but we moved to Phoenix when I was one-year-old in 1957. I grew up here and graduated from Alhambra High School and attended Phoenix College.

Family: I am married to my wife Rene', who is a librarian in the Washington school district. During free time, I may be found playing basketball in the driveway with my son, Devin. He's also keeping me busy with school, Little League, and playing in chess tournaments around the Valley.

Favorite food: Lots of favorite food, but our favorite restaurant is Fajitas.

Favorite spot in Arizona: The Little America Hotel in Flagstaff.

Favorite news memory: We have to go back to October 15, 1979. I was a country music air personality at KROP Radio in Brawley, California, when we had a 6.7 earthquake. Thankfully, there were no deaths and only minor injuries, but the entire community was pretty freaked out and listening to the station on their transistor radios. I would not want to go through an earthquake again, but it sure was a great night to work in radio and see how it can make a difference in people's lives.

First job: Working as a stringer for 'The Arizona Republic' at high school football games. My first real job was flipping burgers at the old Sandy's Hamburgers at 51st Avenue and Indian School Road. My first radio job was as announcer at KALJ radio in Yuma in 1977.

First concert: Doug Oldham gospel concert in the 1970s at the old East High School in Phoenix.

Favorite sports team: Phoenix Roadrunners minor league hockey. My dad took me to a game when I was in grade school, and I was hooked. I wanted to be a radio hockey play-by-play man. I used to take my cassette recorder and sit up in the rafters of the Coliseum and do play-by-play. It was great later in life to also take my son to Roadrunners games. Too bad the team just folded, I'll miss them. (Going to the Coyotes is fun, but they're not "my" team.)

Outside interests: My family and I are active in our church - Northern Hills Community Church in Phoenix. We enjoy going to movies, sporting events, and like to vacation at the Beach Cottages in the Pacific Beach area of San Diego. And I love to play catch, basketball, football with my son.


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