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Charity gives helmets to police for kids in community

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JOHNSTOWN -- Police across Cambria County are coming together with a local charity to help children in the area.

They're using a problem as an opportunity to help educate children about how to be safe on two wheels.

It all started after they delivered a bike to a child who was hit by a car earlier this year.

"Sgt. (Erin) Kabler, in his efforts to deliver a bike to a child that got hurt, we delivered a bike and a bicycle helmet and when I was there with him to deliver it, we noticed kids riding around because of the news was there and police were there," said Johnstown police Capt. Chad Miller. "They were interested and they were riding around without helmets on."

On the surface it's a problem, but Miller turned it into an opportunity. He called someone a charity the police had worked with in the past, called Cuddles for Kids.

"Officer Miller brought up the idea about needing bike helmets for kids in our community," said Conner Hagins, founder of Cuddles for Kids.. "We are always looking to help out kids of any ages and this was something right up our alley where it's something that they won't only need but it will keep them safe at the same time."

Hagins said through the community and grant money, the charity was able to gather around 400 helmets, which come in three different sizes and are now in the hands of officers in the area.

"We will have helmets on hand so if they do need protection, officers will be able to stop, teach the right thing for the kid to do," Miller said. "They do need a helmet under 12 years old and be able to give them a helmet instead of saying, 'Go home and get one."

The idea is to help children but to also give officers the chance to make an impact on the community.

"Being able to have something and have an officer give it to you, I think it's even more special," Hagins said. "The police do so much in our community and for them to be able to give back to the community, it's really special to me."

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