‘Slow, Slow, Slow not Go, Go, Go!’ for safety | AspenTimes.com
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‘Slow, Slow, Slow not Go, Go, Go!’ for safety

Jeanne McGovern
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO, Colorado
Blair WeyerAspen Police Chief Richard Pryor takes a closer look at a brochure created by second-grader Andie Sherman and her classmates. Students in Kim Knol's Aspen Elementary School class created a civics project around the Police Department's pedestrian-safety initiative, and plans are in the works to use some of their ideas as part of a public-relations campaign.
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ASPEN – Forget big-city marketing agencies and intellectual think tanks. Sometimes, all you need to get the job done is a group of second-graders.

“It was so impressive what these kids came up with, to say the least,” said Blair Weyer, community relations specialist for the Aspen Police Department. “They took our call for input on how to improve pedestrian safety and really came up with some great ideas as part of a class civics project.”

In fact, the Aspen Police Department plans to use at least a few of the ideas that Kim Knol’s Aspen Elementary School class came up with in a summer public-relations campaign about pedestrian safety.

“Sometimes kids can just say it like it is. … They are not hampered by political views and concerns about what people might think,” Weyer said. “As a result, some of their ideas were spot-on.”

Among the ideas presented to Aspen Police Chief Richard Pryor – in an “amazingly high-quality presentation” – were brochures that can be distributed to concierges, gas stations, car-rental agencies and others, a banner above Main Street letting motorists know that “kids do live here,” and more. And chief among the kids’ concerns: texting while driving (they even admitted that their parents are sometimes guilty of the crime) and letting visitors know that Aspen is not just a playground for adults on vacation.

Of course some of the kids’ work is rudimentary. They are, after all, just 7 and 8 years old. But one thing really stood out, and Weyer has every intention of making it a cornerstone of the department’s upcoming PR push: the slogan “Slow, Slow, Slow not Go, Go, Go!”

“It’s perfect,” she said. “It’s simple and gets the message across. I think it could really be the slogan for what we are trying to do with our safety initiative.”

Indeed, public safety is an important facet of the Aspen Police Department’s work. According to Weyer, increasing the percentage of people who feel safe crossing Main Street is an internal goal for the department. According to an October survey, only 67 percent of respondents felt that way; the goal is to increase that percentage to 75 in 2013.

“It’s an attainable goal,” she said, adding that the department will begin an organized campaign to meet that goal this spring. “And it’s great that we are able to get local kids involved in the process. They are really bright.

“This makes me think we should tap into their creativity more often.”

jmcgovern@aspentimes.com


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