ARARAT Police and Grampians Grease Monkeys have appealed for funding to keep the ‘Beat the Heat’ legal drag racing events going.
The groups also want to expand their youth outreach program that uses mechanic training to keep at-risk young people out of trouble.
Senior Constable Danielle Richardson and Grampians Grease Monkeys’ Bernadine Streeter said the program needed more sponsorship and official support.
“Currently the police that do it do so in a voluntary capacity,” Ms Streeter said.
“They are happy to keep doing that but they need funding to keep the program going.
Senior Constable Richardson said the drag racing events going in as many small rural communities as possible.
“If it becomes a registered diversion program with the Magistrates court then we can take more young people under our wing in the community,” she said.
“If it becomes a registered diversion program with the Magistrates court then we can take more young people under our wing in the community.”
Grampians Grease Monkeys will run a ‘Cruise For A Cause’ on October 7 from the Ararat Caltex roadhouse to Bacchus Marsh.
“This is the official fundraiser for Beat the Heat,” Ms Streeter said.
Ms Streeter has taken inspiration from youth outreach events run by United States police.
She met with the Chief of Police in Boise, Idaho to discuss his officers’ participation in legal drag races.
“Beat the Heat started in America. They have over 200 programs and it has been running for a lot longer over there.
“In Boise, the kids actually race against the police and they have the mentoring program as well.”
Senior Constable Richardson said Beat the Heat had applied for government grants.
“Unfortunately, we were unsuccessful so now we are looking for community support and other agencies that might be willing to help,” she said.
“Beat the heat is looking to sign up car clubs as affiliate clubs, especially when they are passionate about mentoring young people.
“That’s just to do with how we include young people i society. When we are in small country town we all know which young people need help with a hobby and mentoring and skill so they can be employable.
“Just having them on a track instead of a taking risks on the road reduces road trauma.”