PAL Patrol Students enjoy face time with police

first_img“I think it’s loaded,” Vancouver police Detective Adam Millard said.No, Millard wasn’t talking about a loaded gun. He was joking about a loaded die as he played color-coded Jenga in Ann Corlett’s third-grade classroom Friday. Millard and the four Fruit Valley Elementary students he was playing with kept rolling red. So, the tower of wooden blocks was stacked precariously high. Even though the tower eventually — and quickly — came crashing down, they asked him to play again. Millard is one of 14 Vancouver Police Department officers involved in the Police Activities League Patrol, or PAL Patrol, a program that connects officers with elementary school classrooms. He spent about an hour in Corlett’s class before students left for spring break. The program, new this year, targets students in low-income areas that officers frequent. Ideally, kids are able to form their own opinions about police officers based on their personal experiences, instead of what they see on TV or hear from their parents, said John Andersen, the Vancouver Police Activities League’s executive director. “We have kids in the community with a negative perspective toward law enforcement,” Andersen said. “Now we see kids approach police officers rather than run away from them.”last_img

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