Monday was a really fun day for our kids at Cathy’s Pointe. Rosa, the manager of the complex, called me last week. She’s had a few behavioral problems with the kids recently, and had talked with the Amarillo Police Department about them doing a program at the apartments. Since the only time she’s guaranteed to have a large percentage of the kids gathered up at the community building is on Mondays when we’re there, she asked if we could maybe work together to plan something. I definitely was all in on making that happen.
So instead of our regular Bible study, we had Officer Barbee come out to visit with the kids this week. He sat down on their level and just talked to them. About rules, safety, behavior, guns, and the role of police officers. They got to climb in his car and hear the siren and ask him all kinds of questions. It was just so important for the kids to understand that the police are there to care for them and protect them. It’s a message they don’t always hear. Truthfully, the only experience of many of the kids have had with police officers is when police show up to arrest family members. So this was a really fun, special day.
My favorite part of the afternoon?
Officer Barbee said something along the lines of, “I know sometimes kids’ parents tell you they’re going to call the police on you if you don’t behave. I wish they didn’t say that, because we don’t want to be the bad guys or punishment. We’re here to protect you and keep you safe.”
One boy raised his hand. “My mom told my brother she was going to call the cops on him because he was smoking weed.”
Officer Barbee. “Well, yeah, he shouldn’t do that.”
Another boy: “Sometimes my mom smokes weed!”
Me: “Hey let’s get back to talking about how police help us!”
Yep. Kids are honest. Sometimes too honest…
The kids all got badges to wear and left really happy. They had a great time, learned some things, and, most importantly, had a fun, positive experience with a member of the Amarillo Police Department. It was a special day.