Waukegan Park District and Waukegan Police Department Partner to Offer 4th Annual Toy Ride-Along Program for Local Children

May 6
Monday, May 6th 2024

Waukegan, Illinois (May 6, 2024) – The Waukegan Park District and the Waukegan Police Department are partnering to offer local children the opportunity to send their favorite toy on a ride-along with a police officer through the 4th Annual Toy Ride-Along Program. This free program will engage police officers with the community to encourage ongoing relationships.

After being registered, the toys must be dropped off at the Field House Sports, Fitness & Aquatics Center, located at 800 Baldwin Avenue in Hinkston Park, before Thursday, May 9, 2024 at 10pm. The toys will be returned to children during the week of Tuesday, May 28, 2024 with photos from the ride-along and a certificate from the Waukegan Park District and the Waukegan Police Department.

Jeremiah Johnson, President of the Waukegan Park District Board of Commissioners, stated, “The Toy Ride-Along Program is an intergovernmental partnership that makes a positive impact in the community. The Waukegan Park District appreciates the efforts of the Waukegan Police Department to put a smile on the faces of local children while establishing relationships.”

Jay Lerner, Executive Director of the Waukegan Park District, stated, “The Waukegan Park District is proud to partner with the Waukegan Police Department to offer a unique and innovative program for children. With an emphasis on positively engaging children with police officers, the Toy Ride-Along Program strengthens community relationships.”

Chief Edgar Navarro of the Waukegan Police Department stated, “The Waukegan Police Department is excited to partner with the Waukegan Park District to offer the 4th Annual Toy Ride-Along Program. Through the program, police officers have the opportunity to interact with the children that they serve and protect every day. Police officers are ready to welcome the toys for their ride-along.”

More information about the 4th Annual Toy Ride-Along Program, including registration, is available at waukeganparks.org/toy.

About the Waukegan Park District

Established on December 26, 1916, the Waukegan Park District (WPD) has 53 properties and more than 742 acres of land, including the 18-hole Bonnie Brook and 9-hole Greenshire Golf Courses. Properties are managed to the highest environmental and conservation standards. Facilities operated by the WPD include the Field House Sports, Fitness and Aquatics Center, Waukegan’s Greg Petry SportsPark, Waukegan Skate Park, BMX Track, SplashZone, Percussion Playground, recreational centers, disc golf course, dog exercise area and agility course, outdoor sports fields, picnic areas, playgrounds, splash pads, and sports courts including basketball, tennis and pickleball. A full range of programs and services are offered year-round for all ages, from infants to seniors, as well as special need populations. Healthy lifestyles, wellness initiatives, and a connection with the outdoors and nature are integrated throughout programs, services, and special events. Arts and cultural activities are provided by the Jack Benny Center for the Arts, Waukegan Symphony Orchestra and Concert Chorus, and the Waukegan History Museum. We offer something for everyone!

A member of the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA), Illinois Association of Park Districts (IAPD), Illinois Park and Recreation Association (IPRA), and the Park District Risk Management Agency (PDRMA), the WPD employs 73 full-time and 219 part-time, seasonal, and temporary employees and is recognized by the IPRA as an Exceptional Workplace.

Nationally accredited by the NRPA Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies (CAPRA) and State accredited through the IAPD Distinguished Agency Accreditation, the WPD has received the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) Triple Crown Award for receiving the GFOA’s Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting, Popular Annual Financial Reporting Award, and the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award. The WPD was awarded the NRPA National Gold Medal Award for Excellence in Park and Recreation Management in 2013, and was named a Gold Medal Finalist in 2012, 2013, 2019, 2021, 2022, and 2023.

Media Contact
Josue Pasillas, MPA
Communications Supervisor
Waukegan Park District
(847) 360-4789