McGruff Moves to Kissimmee: Utility Unveils New Safety Program

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KISSIMMEE, Fla., October 30, 9:00 am – Kissimmee Utility Authority (KUA) has teamed up with McGruff®, the crime dog, to help safeguard children and adults in Osceola County.
Today, the utility kicks off the KUA McGruff Truck Program — an innovative partnership between the National Crime Prevention Council and KUA.
“The KUA McGruff Truck Program provides children and adults in our community with an added measure of security,” said Chris Gent, manager of corporate communications at KUA. “We’re proud to be the first utility in Florida to offer this program.”
The message of the KUA McGruff Truck program is, “We’ll call for help.” The McGruff Truck crew is trained to summon appropriate help when flagged down by a child or individual in distress.
A KUA McGruff Truck is easy to spot. The McGruff Truck symbol, located on the front and rear of each KUA-logo vehicle, identifies utility service vehicles and their drivers as sources for help. Every driver of a KUA vehicle marked with a McGruff sticker has been trained to provide assistance when approached by a child or adult.
All KUA McGruff Trucks are equipped with two-way radios or cellular phones that enable the driver to call for assistance immediately upon observing an emergency. When flagged down by a child or other individual in need of assistance, the driver will call for help and stay with the individual until help arrives.
A KUA McGruff Truck driver does not administer first aid, except in extreme emergencies, medicine of any kind, provide transportation, or place the child in the truck. The driver does not act as a law enforcement officer, or approach a child unless he or she is clearly in trouble.
Children will be taught about the KUA McGruff Truck program by their elementary school D.A.R.E. and/or resource officers. They will be instructed to wave both hands above their head if they need assistance from a KUA McGruff Truck. Each incident is logged, an incident report is prepared and all reporting is monitored by KUA, as well as the National McGruff Truck Headquarters in Salt Lake City, Utah.
KUA’s McGruff Truck program — the third in Florida after the Village of Palm Springs Police Department and Winter Haven Fire Department — will encompass 100 utility vehicles. Twenty-four states involving 140 corporations and municipalities currently participate in the McGruff Truck program. Utilities are the most frequent participants, as well as the original supporters, according to the National Crime Prevention Council.
The program has the strong support of the Kissimmee Police Department, Osceola County Sheriff’s Office, and local government leaders, and it has the endorsement of the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
KUA is Florida’s 6th largest municipally-owned utility serving 58,000 electric, water and internet customers in three Central Florida counties.

Contact: Chris Gent, Manager of Corporate Communications
(407) 933-7777 ext. 1116
cgent@kua.com