Law enforcement shows kids a friendly face

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Franklin County schoolkids got a first-hand and up-close view of what it takes to be part of law enforcement as agencies from throughout the state and county treated them to an annual Cops and Kids Day April 29.

Whether they were helicopters from the Florida Forest Service or a boat from the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office or an ambulance from Weems Memorial Hospital, the kids from both Franklin County Schools and the Apalachicola Bay Charters School took it all in with excitement and fascination.

“I’m part of the police now,” said fourth-grader Caleb Riley Lewis, as he pointed to a new police badge sticker he had just had slapped on his shirt by Apalachicola Police Officer Chase Richards. 

Richards and fellow officer Ashley Webb had also been handing out frisbees but one girl wanted something different.

“I want to put my brother in handcuffs, instead of a frisbee,” she said.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement had a complete assortment of crime detection displays, as well as Rocket, their k-9 trained in detection of electronic devices, such as cell phones and computers.

“Thank you to each agency, department, school employee, teacher and volunteer who contributed to making today a great one for the children,” wrote Sheriff A.J. Smith on his Facebook page. “A positive relationship between law enforcement and public safety and the youth is very important. Our department loves putting this event together to help foster that relationship and show the kids all the different groups that come together to serve and protect our communities.

“Who do you think enjoyed showing off the job more, adults or the kids?” he asked.

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