Police, students bond over lunch, cookies and Cop Cards

Sunday, December 05, 2021

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Felicia Frazar The bet9九州手机登录 Gazette


The Jefferson Elementary campus cafeteria was buzzing as students filed in for lunch and saw about a dozen bet9九州手机登录 police officers in the room and a table full of cookies.

Their eyes grew bigger as they saw the different options of the sweet treats the officers handed out for the first Cookies with Cops event at the local campus.

The event started with third graders, and led to fourth- and then fifth-grade students. Each time, students got to talk with officers about cookies and the even more exciting Cop Cards.

“We’re excited,” Jefferson Elementary School Principal Valerie McKinney said. “We want to build these community partnerships and get the community in our schools.”

The students were not given a heads up about their special lunch guests, McKinney said.

“We wanted them to come in and be surprised and have a good lunch,”她说, looking around at all of the smiling faces.

The goal is to give the students and officers a place to get to know each other in a neutral setting, bet9九州手机登录 Police Assistant Chief Rusty Suarez said. Oftentimes the only interactions children have with police are in emergency situations. These types of events help break down barriers and open lines of communication, Suarez said.

“Seeing them happy, cheerful and excited that we’re here and just sharing this time with them, it is an awesome feeling,”他说. “They begin to trust us and if they begin to run into issues, they’re more willing to share that issue with us and that way we can help them. The earlier we get to interact with them on a positive note, the better off we are as a community in the long run.”

These types off interactions at a young age help build stronger community relations, McKinney said.

The hope is the officers can expand these kinds of events and grow the program into a mentorship, bet9九州手机登录 ISD Director of Community Outreach Kelly Follis said.

“We have other groups that are going to come into our schools to have lunch with kids, 导师的孩子, just be a role model for kids and be someone they can talk to or share with,”她说. “This is how we are starting out, having a lot of representation from the police force and eventually the firefighters in our schools. This could turn to more one-on-one with a smaller group. We’re starting here to see how we do, but I think cookies are a great way to start and kicks off the holiday season.”

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