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.