HomeNewsJPD host Easter egg hunt for visually impaired

JPD host Easter egg hunt for visually impaired

Saturday morning was an ideal day to go to the ballpark.

Temperatures were mild. The sun was shining with clear skies.

The win was stiff after the storms that blew through the area the night before, but it was the perfect day to go hunt eggs.

Jackson Police Department’s Bomb Unit got together and built a number of beeping eggs to allow a segment of the population of Jackson and the surrounding areas the opportunity to hunt eggs that don’t normally get to.

“We started looking into it and talking with the folks at The Star Center, and there are about 3,300 people in Madison and the surrounding counties that are visually impaired in some way,” said JPD Chief Thom Corley. “And that’s just the people they know about, so I don’t know if that means there are a lot more, but that number is more than I would’ve thought.”

Corley said a bomb unit officer in another state that JPD’s bomb unit officers are familiar with has a daughter that is visually impaired, and a few years ago he tried to figure out a way to allow his daughter to be able to hunt eggs at Easter like all the other children.

“We heard his story and how he wanted to help his daughter enjoy something that a lot of us as parents sometimes take for granted this time of year,” said Lt. Travis McNatt, a bomb technician with JPD. “So we wanted to see what we could do to reach out in a similar way to children and adults here who have never hunted for eggs that might want to.”

JPD partnered with The Star Center and the Jackson Rockabillys, who hosted the hunt in their outfield at Jackson Baseball Stadium.

Officers in the Bomb Unit and other JPD officers scattered beeping eggs throughout the outfield – mostly in left field and into centerfield. The eggs beeped to indicate to the egg hunters where to look.

“The good thing about this is building the eggs is really a one-time expense,” Corley said. “So in future years when we want to do this, all we have to do is make sure the eggs have plenty of power in their batteries to keep beeping.”

Along with hunting eggs, JPD set up a number of other activities for the hunters to do before or after their hunt like finding items in different boxes filled with different materials. They’d also have to try to guess what materials filled those boxes, which were anything from sand to wheat to corn cobs.

“We’re trying to help families create memories they might not otherwise be able to do, and if we only get a few families – or even just one – that comes out together and enjoys an experience they maybe thought they never would, then that’s enough for us,” McNatt said.

A total of 15 children were registered for the event with all who made it thoroughly enjoying themselves.

Brandon Shields, brandon@jacksonpost.com

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