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OPD wants citizens to be healthy, safe and seen

The reflective arm bands and shoe clips make pedestrians more visible along roadways where sidewalks are not available.


OELWEIN — Recent hot and humid days have even the more active people retreating to their air-conditioning to stay cool. Those who enjoy walking, bike riding or jogging are taking their daily routes in the early mornings or later evenings.

While that’s a great idea to help stay cooler and enjoying outdoor activities, those hours can be dangerous, because people are more difficult to see along roadways.

The Oelwein Police Department does not want to discourage people from getting out and enjoying a good walk or bike ride; they encourage a healthy lifestyle and maintaining health in a safe way. That’s why the police department is promoting new LED reflective safety arm bands and shoe clips.

Oelwein Police Chief Jeremy Logan said the department came up with the idea to promote safe walking, running and cycling. He said the self-isolating and social distancing from the pandemic has made more residents and families take to the trails and go for walks along streets just to get out from being cooped up.

While officers are out on patrol, they may stop pedestrians or cyclists and ask them to pause for a minute while they fit them with a reflective arm band or shoe clip. The arm band can be worn around the upper or lower portion of one’s arm and the shoe clips are placed around the heel at the back of the shoe. Both safety devices reflect in the headlights of vehicles so drivers can better see people walking or riding alongside the roadways, especially where sidewalks or trails are not found.

Officers also report citizens that see them out on patrol should feel free to flag them down and ask for one of the reflective items. Every officer keeps some available in the squad cars. They encourage everyone to “be healthy, be safe and be seen” as is printed on the bands and clips.

Chief Logan reported as of the end of June, his officers had given out more than 100 of the LED reflective devices.