Police build relations with kids at Kempton Elementary - WNEM TV 5

Police build relations with kids at Kempton Elementary

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Police officers surrounding a local elementary school this afternoon only this time there was a lot more fun and less fear.

Back in April, officers rushed to Kempton Elementary in Saginaw after receiving a call about a threat inside.

But it was only after they arrived with guns drawn that they learned the threat was fake.

But the fear among students was very real.

“This is awesome for them,” said Kempton Elementary Principal Dianne Dalton.

Dalton is talking about the Bridge the Gap event for her students.

Bridge the Gap is an organization that works to build positive relationships between law enforcement and the community.

Back in April, these kids saw a different side of law enforcement.

Officers roaming the halls with guns drawn thanks to a false report of an active shooter in the building.

“We’ve had a couple of times that we’ve been able to talk with them but when Mr. Sowah came to talk to us about bringing this event here it was hands down for me,” Dalton said.

“To see them here now the police officers dancing, partying, having a good time with them, that’s a better long lasting memory especially going into to these warm summer months,” said Ayiteh Sowah, a board member with Bridge the Gap.

He said these events help strengthens the bond between officer and student.

“They have a good relationship with the officers,” Sowah said. “We just want to make that better.”

Police officers said it’s important for these kids to remember that they’re more than just someone who shows up when something bad happens.

“We can take time out of our day to come dance with them, have fun, celebrate,” said Terrance Moore, a youth initiative officer for the Saginaw Police Department.

Moore spends a lot of time at schools in the city and he said that investment is paying off.

“I can tell it means a lot,” Moore said. “I see a lot of kids in the community. I know them by name. They know me by name.”

Getting back to Dalton. She thinks the event is the perfect way to end the school year on a good note.

“These kids needed to have a good experience with our officers and with community members,” Dalton said. “And this is just bringing it home for them.”

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