UPPER MARLBORO, Md. (DC News Now) — Students in Prince George’s County will be headed back to school in about a week. To help families better prepare, police are hosting a “backpack celebration.”  

The Prince George’s County Police Community Engagement Division set up the event to include backpacks stuffed with school supplies for students K-12. Besides building relationships between police and the community, the goal is to keep students safe this school year.

Police also offered public safety tips for parents and students as they return, such as stopping at school bus stop signs and lowering speeds in school zones.

Drivers could be cited for several hundreds of dollars if laws aren’t followed. Another key factor is keeping an open dialogue with students, parents, teachers, and authorities.

Lt. Maria Massey of the PG County Police Department said, “Keeping the channels for communication open, talking to the teachers about anything that they may have seen that are suspicious to them, anything in reference to bullying. Stopping that immediately, and also talking to parents about what is going on at school.”

The backpack celebration is on August 26th. There are over 700 people registered for the event. If interested, the department advises parents to register on Event Brite.