Melbourne police are paying visits to local elementary schools — but don't worry, the kids aren't in trouble.
- Melbourne PD officers interact with local elementary schools
- 'COPS' program helps build relations w/ younger students
- Program now in all Melbourne elementary schools
Officer Ben Slover came up with the idea this school year: It's called COPS, or ‘Cool Outside Programs at School.’
Twice a month, he and fellow officers head to play games with the kids, engaging in activities like basketball, dodge-ball and floor hockey.
Middle and high-schoolers see school resource officers each day.
But Officer Slover said since there are no dedicated officers in the elementary schools, he thought it would be a great way to build relationships with younger students, like the ones at Longleaf Elementary School.
“I want them to see us as a resource. If they are in trouble, if they are hurt, if something's wrong, I want them to come to us, not run from us,” Officer Slover said.
Zoie Lowman, a Longleaf Elementary kindergartner, likes having the Melbourne officers around.
“They are really good to have around, and they can protect us a lot,” she said.
The COPS program is now in all Melbourne elementary schools.