Cops and Kids Day good for community

Published 12:00 am Thursday, July 31, 2003

They say every day is children’s day. This Saturday, though, is Cops and Kids Day.

According to Selma Police Department officer Tommy Weber, children often encounter police under negative circumstances. Cops and Kids Day at Bloch Park from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. hopes to change that perception.

We can’t think of a better way for children to learn that police officers aren’t harbingers of doom and gloom, but are instead community protectors.

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Families can enjoy free food on Saturday as they examine equipment used by police and fire department officers. Some items available for examination will include police motorcycles, the K-9 Unit, mountain bikes and a helicopter brought by Alabama state troopers.

Cops and Kids Day isn’t just a chance for parents and children to learn about the police and fire department; it’s an opportunity for the community to form a relationship with officers and fire fighters who protect it every day.

Weber said when he speaks at schools he only has 20 minutes to get his point across. That’s not enough time to form a bond between the people putting their lives on the line every day.

Cops and Kids Day gives our community four hours to speak with police officers and fire fighters, learn their names and hear their stories.

But more than just hearing their stories, Saturday will give us the chance to glimpse into their work lives. Instead of calling someone we don’t know when a house is on fire, we’ll contact the men and women whose stories we’ve heard. It’s important to think of these men and women as more than appendages of our city. They’re people, and they deserve our respect and thanks.

Our police officers and fire fighters may only get one day a year to be honored, but we’re glad they chose to spend it teaching us.