Westerville Safety City is a program designed to teach
preschool children about a variety of safety issues. The program runs for two weeks in the summer. It is offered to students
who will be entering kindergarten in the fall.
The program is operated by a non-profit organization and
coordinates the cooperative effort of the Westerville Fire Department, Police Department, and City Schools.
Safety Town was started in Mansfield, OH in 1932 by police
officer, Friend Bowles and kindergarten teacher, Ruth Robbins. It was started as a result of a child's death. The child was
hit and killed by a car. (Ruth's son, John Robbins, is a prominent member of the Westerville community.)
In 1977, a Safety Town program based on the Mansfield program
was started in Westerville. At the time, it was held at St Paul's. The first year's program educated 50 students. Area teens
were assistants and Otterbein students taught the program.
Each child is taught basic rules of traffic and pedestrian
safety, fire prevention, school bus safety, poison control, gun safety, water safety, and stranger awareness. Upon completion
of the program, each child receives a Certificate of Achievement and participates in a graduation ceremony.