Cruisers, trucks, buses and more: SPD holds second annual Touch-a-Truck

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Cruisers, trucks, buses and more: SPD holds second annual Touch-a-Truck
The Shrewsbury Police Department held the second annual Touch-a-Truck event on April 6.

SHREWSBURY – The UMass Chan Medical School parking lot was full, but not with cars.

The Shrewsbury Police Department — in collaboration with the Massachusetts State Police, UMass Police Department, Grafton Police Department and Worcester Police Department — held the second annual Touch-a-Truck event on April 6. Buses, police cruisers, fire trucks, ambulances and even horses occupied large swaths of the lot; almost everything was available for parents and children alike to climb, explore and learn about.

Sponsored by Shrewsbury Federal Credit Union and Atlas Event Group, the event attracted over 2,000 people last year. Given the success, the Shrewsbury Police Department decided to expand the event to include more activities, and the department expected the attendance to match, or possibly eclipse, last year’s total.

“I hope the kids have fun. When I was growing up, Touch-a-Truck was so cool. To be able to climb inside a fire truck was awesome. This is something that they might remember 20 years down the road. I hope they enjoy it,” said Shrewsbury Police Officer Justin Walker, who organized the event alongside Det. Christopher Abbascia.

Like last year, the event was sensory friendly, meaning that no lights or sirens were permitted at the event so that those with sensory issues could remain comfortable. April is Autism Awareness Month.

Aside from welcoming everyone, Walker said the event also aimed to normalize casual relationships between citizens and police. Community members shouldn’t be afraid to speak with an officer, he said, and having events like Touch-a-Truck may make officers easier to approach.

“In Shrewsbury, having the community’s support and showing them that it’s not just the police and then ‘them.’ The chief likes to say it, and this is our saying: ‘We serve better together.’ That’s the slogan, and it’s important to have the community realize that you can approach a police officer — it’s nothing to be afraid of,” Walker said.

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