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PCSO News Release

Media Contact:
Eleazer, Carrie

Public Information Officer 
News Date: 6/8/2016 

 Polk Sheriff's Charities, Inc., Partners With Citrus Connection to Provide Free Bus Transportation to Kids During Summer Break 

Sheriff Grady Judd is excited to announce that Polk Sheriff's Charities, Inc., a not-for-profit charity dedicated to assisting law enforcement family members during times of need, funding the Polk County Sheriff's Office Law Enforcement Memorial, and supporting activities and charities that benefit the community, will fund this year's "Summer of Safety" program and subsidize transportation to any Polk County middle and high school student during the upcoming summer break from public school (June 10 - August 14, 2016). 

The Citrus Connection "Summer of Safety" program is the first of its kind in the United States. This year is the third year Citrus Connection has provided this program to students. In previous years, Lakeland P.D., Winter Haven P.D., and the City of Lake Alfred, funded transit within their communities. This year, thanks to Polk Sheriff's Charities, the program is able to be launched countywide. 

"This is one more example of Polk Sheriff's Charities just doing what's right. We understand that sometimes, when children are home alone or bored, temptation to create mischief can be strong. We hope that by making bus transportation free for kids, instead of getting into trouble, they will be able to travel to jobs, or partake in meaningful and productive activities." - Sheriff Grady Judd


The following information is provided by Citrus Connection: Enrollment in the program is simple. Children must show their student identification to the bus driver upon boarding the vehicle. Bus service times and route information are available at www.findmyroutes.com. For youth with smart phones, all bus stops are equipped with QR codes that lead directly to our website. 

The Summer of Safety provides meaningful access to participate in activities. Hanging out with the attitude that "there is nothing to do" and "there's no way to get around" no longer applies. As we enter another summer, we know that it is not the cost of these programs that keeps children from participating, but the lack of transportation, since most households are dual-income families, meaning both cars are at work leaving the children at home, without options. 

For older youth, the Summer of Safety opens summer employment and internships including Publix, Legoland, GEICO and area downtown businesses. Public transit vehicles operate six days a week and provide access to many large and small employers. A day on public transit can provide access to hundreds of potential employers. 

The Summer of Safety hopes to take children off the street corners and provide access to jobs and educational opportunities. For more information, please contact 1-855-POLK-BUS.