Dodge Park visitors keep warm by  the fire pit after skating.

Dodge Park visitors keep warm by the fire pit after skating.

File photo by Donna Agusti


Police, fire to head to the ice for outreach

By: Eric Czarnik | Sterling Heights Sentry | Published January 14, 2019

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STERLING HEIGHTS — Safety and slippery conditions normally don’t go together, but the two will be in harmony when the Sterling Heights Police and Fire departments host a new winter outreach event in February.

The city of Sterling Heights will hold its first Sterling Winter Skate Feb. 9 at Dodge Park’s farmers market pavilion and ice rink.

According to city officials, families that attend the event may meet police officers and firefighters, take photos with them or skate on the rink with them. The departments will bring some of their vehicles, and food trucks will sell food and refreshments.

Fire Chief Chris Martin said he hopes his department will bring at least 10-12 staff members to the event, as well as a ladder truck and an ambulance. He said the event is a good chance for the public to check out the new ice rink if they haven’t already done so.

“Any way that we can engage with the public is a positive for the Fire Department,” Martin said. “This is a new event. Dodge Park has just been a huge success with all the work there, and this is just one more success story.”

During the event, a fundraiser will take place for the nonprofit Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs Inc.

According to Martin, the Guardian Angels are raising a dog named Sterling that they hope to train to assist a veteran, a first responder or someone else who needs a service dog. Martin said the organization hopes to raise at least $25,000 to cover training costs.

Sterling Heights Police Chief Dale Dwojakowski said that around 10 officers are expected to lace up their skates or otherwise represent the Police Department at the event. The turnout is expected to include members of the department’s new recreational hockey team, as well as members of the department’s Community Outreach and Engagement team.

“Obviously, we’re there to help raise money for Sterling, the service dog, and get placement to someone here locally that can utilize that dog,” Dwojakowski said. “What a great way to do that by showing off our new ice skating rink with residents and having our police (officers) and firefighters there to spend the afternoon.”

The Sterling Winter Skate will take place 3-8 p.m. Feb. 9 at Dodge Park, 40620 Utica Road in Sterling Heights. Skating and skate rentals will be free during the event; skate sharpening costs $5. Find out more by visiting www.sterling-heights.net or by calling (586) 446-2489.

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