KAPOW kids in trouble with the law?! Not a chance. These students from Village Elementary School in Sunrise (Broward County, Florida) were invited to get first-hand experience with law enforcement career opportunities and the equipment used by the City of Sunrise Police Department. Chief John E. Brooks recently invited the students to visit the new police headquarters and explore the many job possibilities offered in local law enforcement. Sgt. Rodney Hailey, Ofc. Devona Stevenson and Ofc. Michelle Eddy were the primary tour guides (as well as 2nd grade teachers Debbie Cohen and Terra Elliot) as the students explored the City’s new 109,000 square-foot Public Safety Building, which houses 295 law enforcement employees. The facility is so new that the holding cells have not even held any prisoners yet!
Outside the facility, the students were introduced to a K-9 team comprised of Kira, a drug-sniffing dog, and her trainers Officer Marc Plunske and Officer Kim Windell. Initially, many of the kids were scared of Kira, but they quickly warmed up to her friendly nature. For a demo of Kira’s drug-sniffing abilities, four kids volunteered to put on backpacks. That’s not much of a stretch for these students, but the twist is, one of the backpacks had illegal drugs in it and Kira would have to find it. When Kira went to work, she showed focus in her search and she sat quickly, indicating her confidence that she had smelled the illegal drugs. This is just one of the tasks that the City’s talented K-9’s are trained to perform; and the kids loved seeing Kira do her job!
Next, Ofc. Dave Tuttle gave the kids a first-hand look at the Sunrise S.W.A.T. truck and some of the equipment used by the S.W.A.T. team. The kids enjoyed trying on their bullet proof vests and helmets. The students were most intrigued by the “sun-roof”; a bullet-proof gun turret on the S.W.A.T. vehicle’s roof. The kids excitedly took turns looking around from the view on top of the truck.
The students were then shown a Command/Hostage Vehicle by Ofc. Justin Yarbrough. It’s the stuff you see in movies! They had impressive touch screen satellite images, which allow law enforcement to draw their containment and breach plans. The vehicle even had a hostage phone with 1,500 feet of cable so that if hostage situations ever do arise, citizens could be assured that conflicts could be resolved without concern of service interruption or dropped calls.
I thought the tour was very well done and the officers were very interactive with the kids. Not only did the presentation educate the students about the many exciting career opportunities in law enforcement, but the students also received important life safety lessons from the officers. I cannot speak highly enough of these officers, the splendid tour they gave to the kids and for their patience.