Children of Denison got the opportunity to get up close with a fire truck, police car and other large vehicles when the city hosted a Touch-a-Truck event at Texoma Health Foundation Park.


The Denison Public Library has hosted similar events in recent years over the summer, but Director of Community Engagement Sunny Mackey said the city felt it would also work as a spring break activity for parents and children alike.


“Obviously with THF, we thought this would be a good opportunity to get people out on spring break,” Mackey said.


The time frame also allowed Denison to show off its new automated trash pickup trucks that the city will begin using in April. Mackey said Denison residents of all ages have shown interest in the new trucks and city officials felt the event would serve as an additional way of spreading information about the new service.


Among those showing off their vehicles was Denison Police patrolman Jeremy Monroe, who brought a police SUV and an ATV the department uses for remote areas and extra mobility. Even with all its lights and other features, Monroe said the SUV was popular, but attracted a lesser audience than the ATV.


“Of course, it always has all the popular toys that attract kids,” Monroe said of police vehicles. “It has lights, sirens and of course they get to push all the buttons.”


Among those who attended the event was Michelle McAlister, who was attending with her three children. McAlister said she was happy Denison elected to hold the event during spring break. As a school teacher, the event was something the entire family could do together, she said.


“We’ve gone to all the touch-a-truck events,” McAlister said.


Tyler McAlister said he was excited to get the chance to see a fire truck in person. He explained he would like to be a firefighter when he grows up.


While there are everyday opportunities for residents to interact with some groups, including the police and fire departments, others are less accessible. For thpse groups, which include public works and waste disposal, the event also served as a way to reach out to the public and show the services that Denison offers.


“We wanted to showcase all of the public departments that the city has,” Mackey said. “Some of those aren’t the most public interfacing, but they all have a big impact.”