Jun 14, 2012 9:00 PM
TUCSON - The Tucson Police Department is teaming up with Kristi's Kids, and the News4 Tucson Lifesaver campaign, to keep kids safe this summer. Using confiscated cash from criminals, TPD is covering virtually free swim lessons for 4,800 local kids. Two week's worth of lessons, per child. Parents just have to cover a $2 registration fee. The $80,000-$90,000 is tied mostly to drugs such as heroin, meth and cocaine.
According to TPD Chief Roberto Villasenor, it's money well spent. He tells Kristi's Kids, "if they're not in a structured activity, lots of times they're just left alone, or at home with no guidance or they're out wandering around the neighborhood. And who knows what they're gonna get involved in."
Parents tell Kristi's Kids, they are extremely grateful. Jennifer Schroeder has a 6 year-old boy taking the lessons. She says, "I thought it was really affordable last year, at $15 dollars a class. This year, at only $2 a class (i.e. lesson package per child,) it's an incredible deal."
Tucson Parks and Recreation tells Kristi's Kids that all 4,800 slots have been allocated. There's now a waiting list for the RICO-funded swim lessons. Chief Villasenor says, he hopes to fund more lessons next year, but he can't make any promises. He says, the flow of confiscated cash is so unpredictable.