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Talking to little kids at a school

Discussion in 'Cop Talk' started by PinkoCommie, Nov 13, 2011.


  1. PinkoCommie

    PinkoCommie
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    I need some talking points ant tips on this...

    Going to my daughter's school for "career day". She is turning 4 in a few days, and her classmates are all around 3-4. I'll go in uniform, obviously. Can't bring my car (too far from where I work, bosses won't let me), so I am already starting behind the local fire department which visited the school a couple of weeks ago.

    I have sticker badges for the whole class. I plan on doing some general "if you need help, find a police officer" kinda talking. Anything else to make it fun for them? Helpful?
     

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  2. ateamer

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    The couple times I got stuck doing that, I talked to the kids for about five minutes and then asked if they had any questions. That took care of the next hour.
     

  3. RyanNREMTP

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    Find some online police coloring pages. Kids love those things.
     
  4. Trigger Finger

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    In my younger days, before I became a Defective, I did this several times as a gang officer. I would tell them what a gang is and why to stay away from them. What to do in an emergency.

    Q&A is nice but one thing I realized very quickly is that these little kids are smarter then I gave them credit . No easy or flippant answers, explain answers completely and concisely.
     
  5. OXCOPS

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    This. If the FD is going to be there, talk to them before things get started and make a unified pitch for 911. Coloring is a great activity.

    Remember, they are 4. This isn't rocket science. Be prepared for the first question to be, "Have you ever shot anyone?"
     
  6. trifecta

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    FD may do these talks a lot more than you so call and see what talking points they used. Then you can piggy back and reinforce.

    I was told to teach kids in the affirmative. Something about how they process. Makes sense, but not sure if it is accurate. Tell them what to do vs what to avoid. For example, FD might tell kids to get low near a wall if they can't get out the house in a fire vs telling them to not hide in a closet.

    911- when to call.

    Stop, look, and listen before you cross the street. Seems like there was a song for it when I was a kid. No extra points for you if you sing it. You might actually demonstrate it for them. It may hold their attention better.

    Helmets when riding bikes and scooters.

    Gun safety. They aren't toys. Tell an adult if you see one. Not many 4 year olds are going to the range, but if one asks just tell em it's ok with their parent. They are likely to ask about your gun-I think at that age the question may be if it's real.

    Stranger danger. You can try, but it's a tough battle at that age. Hopefully at 4, there is adult watching them.



    If you like kids, this will be the most fun you have all week. Your kid will have the coolest dad. I still go to lunch with my kid, mostly not in uniform, but the kids all know. Closest most of us will come to being a celebrity unless we go ride with Segal.
     
  7. Sharky7

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    Good luck...everything already covered in the above posts. Kids that age are pretty talkative - hard to get everyone to keep quiet at once. Maybe bring in a pair of clean handcuffs to pass around as well.

    I would also bring a camera with and snap a few shots....good memories for you and your girl to look back on when she gets older.
     
  8. steveksux

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    Don't forget to remind them "Never talk to the police!" :supergrin:

    Randy
     
  9. OXCOPS

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    And for crying out loud, wear your hat. otherwise, they can't ask questions.
     
  10. volsbear

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    Good luck, man. That's a tough crowd.

    My oldest son is 4 1/2. When he was about 3 1/2, he threw out, "is a bad man ever going to hurt you so you can't come home to me?"

    Of course, I answered "no" which we all know might be a lie but I wasn't going to tell him the absolute theoretical truth.

    He followed up with "why not?"
     
    #10 volsbear, Nov 13, 2011
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2011
  11. Sharky7

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    You reply, "Because I am a bad ass mofo." Then tell him to ask mom what a mofo is. Good way to get the wife cranked up!

    I love to rile up my wife. :supergrin:
     
    #11 Sharky7, Nov 13, 2011
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2011
  12. volsbear

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    That's pretty much what I told him LOL
     
  13. lloydchristmas

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    I've done this for both my kids. I thought it was a lot of fun. At that age, one thing I concentrated on was 911 and personal information. It amazes me how many kids don't know their parent's names, or their own address. I typed up a little sheet on the computer and made a copy for each kid, so that they could hang it on the refrigerator. It had (obviously) the number 911 to call in an emergency, but also Parent's names, addresses, alternate telephone numbers, places of employment, etc. The teachers all thought this was a great idea.

    Another little game we played was "What's the most important tool a Police Officer Carries?" It takes a while, but eventually someone gets to "Pen!" (this is where I give the "pay attention to your schoolwork" talk.)

    Question and answer can be a good time killer, but it also usually turns into a storytelling session. The kids will tell you what happened when mommy got her speeding ticket, and when they got a new puppy, etc. Its actually pretty funny.

    If you like kids, this is one of the times its pretty rewarding to be a cop.
     
  14. k9medic

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    Sit in a chair to talk to them. It puts you on eye level and makes you more approachable especially to those kids who may have had poor interactions in the past with the police (parents arrested).

    Don't bring up the gun stuff unless you want a million statements (note I didn't say questions) about shooting people. If it does come up, defer the question by mentioning that yes you do have a gun to keep people safe from bad guys, but your best weapon is between your ears...
     
  15. longhaulcop

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    If you need a book to read to them I would suggest this.
    Officer Buckle & Gloria
    Relax and have fun, the kids will interrupt and ask enough questions to get you right through it!!
     
  16. Patchman

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    You know how some stupid parents will point to a uniformed cop and tell their kid(s) "if you don't behave, I'm going to have the officer arrest you." All that does is scare the kid into thinking that interactions with LE is a bad thing.

    So please get it out to these 4 y.o. that cops are not going to arrest them simply because their mommy or daddy told the cop to.

    (Heck, I'd go as far as telling them that when they turn 15 or 16 y.o. and realize they're bigger and stronger than moms or pops, that it's OK to use an open hand to slap moms or pops back). :)
     
    #16 Patchman, Nov 14, 2011
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2011
  17. bccop

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    Be sure to mention that you are the only one in the room professional enough to carry a glock 40.
     
  18. msu_grad_121

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    Dammit! Beat me to it! :rofl:
     
  19. pal2511

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    Last tool that told little jimmy I was going to arrest him I told him "nope I don't arrest kids, I just arrest adults". That shut mommy and daddy up quick.
     
  20. Sharkey

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    Ha, I was gonna say that!

    Stop off at Crime Prevention and pick up some swag for the kids.

    When to call 911
    Stranger Danger

    Keep it simple.
    I did this for a friend (OK I wanted to date her) and almost every kid wanted to ask me something so you could use your time up that way too.