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Norton Shores law enforcement surprises sledding families at Lake Harbor Park

The gathering was a chance for the city's emergency professionals to talk with parents and kids about winter safety.

NORTON SHORES, Mich. — With heavy snow falling across West Michigan, many families in Muskegon County enjoyed a snow day sledding at Lake Harbor Park.

A last-minute community event brought some unexpected visitors to their snowy day off.

Mona Shores fourth grader Breanne Lindsay, 9, and other students found police and firefighters at their sledding hill Thursday.

Each year, the Norton Shores police and fire departments do about 100 community events to connect with community members. Thursday's sledding event was last-minute, with many schools in West Michigan closing for the day.

"Hey, it's snowing, the kids are home, let's go see if we can have fun with them at the park," said Sgt. Dan Hibler with the Norton Shores Police Department about the visit.

The gathering was a chance for the city's emergency professionals to talk with parents about slowing down while driving in winter weather. They also got to talk with the kids about being safe on their snow days.

The local Tim Horton's provided hot cocoa, and the First Responders Children's Foundation supplied games and toys for the kids to enjoy when they go home to warm up.

"I think that's cool and generous," Lindsay said of the event.

For Hibler, these community events give law enforcement an important opportunity to foster connections with local families.

"This is all about building those relationships with the community and making sure they are comfortable around us and they can turn to us when they do need us," he said.

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