UPD and Lee County Sheriff’s Office Join Forces to Promote Safety


Tim Belizaire

Fire and Life Safety Inspector, Daniel Cardona (left) teaching FGCU students how to safely use fire extinguishers on the library lawn on Jan. 26, 2023.

Tim Belizaire, Staff Writer

UPD, in conjunction with the Lee County Sheriff’s Office and San Carlos Park Fire and Rescue District, held a Public Safety night on Jan. 26 on the library lawn.

This event taught students about crime prevention and fire safety tips. 

“The goal is for students to interact with law enforcement on some other basis than a victim of a crime, reporting a crime or a criminal,” Captain Alan Canfield of the LCSO said. 

There were multiple activities to do during the public safety event. There was a virtual deputy simulator in which students had the opportunity to participate in one of almost 50 scenarios. The scenarios gave students an opportunity to experience interactions with police from the perspective of law enforcement. 

Canfield believes the LCSO ice cream response team is integral to community outreach. The free ice cream was the most popular item of the night, along with free merchandise from the vendors of the UPD and LCSO.  

Fire safety was also a point of focus during the event. Fire and Life Safety Inspector Daniel Cardona ran the fire safety portion of public safety night. Cardona gave students the opportunity to put out a controlled fire using the BullEx fire simulator. Students used fire extinguishers with pressurized water while being taught the correct technique to put out fires. 

Public safety night also featured a drunk driving simulator. Students were given drunk goggles while riding the fatal vision roadster. They tried to navigate an obstacle course of traffic cones while impaired. FGCU junior Carrie Blankenship attempted to complete the obstacle course. 

Blankenship believes this event is the only place impaired driving is acceptable. 

“Not only are you putting yourself in danger, you’re putting other people in danger. Just don’t take that risk, it’s not worth it,” Blankenship said. 

The event was run by Sergeant Myles Kittleson, the community outreach sergeant for the UPD. Kittleson is passionate about the safety of the students on and off campus. He wants students to make the correct decisions when a potentially dangerous situation arises.  

“If you see something, say something,” Kittleson said. He believes it is easier to help with a situation when the authorities are immediately notified as opposed to hours later. 

If you need to contact UPD, you can call them at (239) 590-1900 or call 911 in case of an emergency.