Corporal Jodi Shelkie explains that middle school and high school students can be facing a lot of difficult decisions in their lives, and it’s important for them to know that police officers are there to help.
“Often police in communities are looked to as the enforcement,” she argues. “If something bad happens, you call the cops. We want to look at it as kind of prevention in that we’re there to show that we’re more than just there to arrest the bad guy; we’re there to give them advice and guide them through tough times and be their friends.”
The lunch hour started off with the highly anticipated “cops versus kids” game, and then the teams mixed it up.
Even more important than the relationships built on the court is the interaction after it. Being at the school out of uniform gives the students the chance to ask officers any questions they may have in a more comfortable setting.
“This is a way where we can come out and just show we’re people too,” says Shelkie. “We’re out of the uniform; we’re playing a game, and hopefully having a good time with them and showing them that the police are there to help them, not just when somebody needs to be arrested.”
The project started last week at Dr. Kearney Middle School.