Cops in schools

Warragul & Drouin Gazette - - FRONT PAGE -

Stu­dents at Trafal­gar and Yar­ragon Pri­mary schools have been fos­ter­ing pos­i­tive re­la­tion­ships with mem­bers of the lo­cal po­lice force through the Cop­per in a Class­room pro­gram.

The pro­gram, which has been a suc­cess­ful ini­tia­tive at schools in Moe, aims to achieve a greater re­la­tion­ship with chil­dren, while also giv­ing them an in­sight that po­lice are just or­di­nary peo­ple just like them.

Trafal­gar Po­lice lead­ing se­nior con­sta­ble Kevin Scouller said the pro­gram was about be­ing pro-ac­tive in form­ing re­la­tion­ships with the stu­dents early and mak­ing it eas­ier for chil­dren to ap­proach po­lice.

“There are ben­e­fits that come from meet­ing lo­cal po­lice,” he said.

“We also en­cour­age nor­mal school pro­grams.

“Prep stu­dents might learn about road laws and cross­ing the road safely, while se­nior stu­dents may fo­cus on cy­ber safety and learn­ing re­spectable be­hav­iours.”

Mr Scouller said mem­bers of the lo­cal po­lice force would visit the schools once a month as part of the on­go­ing pro­gram.

He said the pro­gram was in its early stages, with the pos­si­bil­ity that it may roll out to other schools in fu­ture.

Trafal­gar Po­lice sergeant Ja­son Dastey said the pro­gram aimed to build stronger re­la­tion­ships so that chil­dren would feel com­fort­able talk­ing to po­lice rather than in­tim­i­dated by them.

“It’s all about re­la­tion­ship build­ing and ba­si­cally let­ting the kids know that we’re here to help them if and when they ever re­quire it,” Mr Dastey said.

Trafal­gar Pri­mary School stu­dents Macken­zie Rankin and Thomas Nel­son learn talk about lo­cal polic­ing with Lead­ing Se­nior Con­sta­ble Kevin Scouller.

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