PROSPERITY — Prosperity Police Chief David Beddingfield and the Prosperity Police Department are gearing up for another year of giving school presentations on the importance of safety and bringing in various speakers to talk with the students.
“Essentially this is a safety program. It’s an opportunity for us to interact with the students and it’s an opportunity for us to talk about basic safety functions,” said Beddingfield.
This year, Beddingfield said the department wants to target specific topics such as drug classes and traffic safety. Topics can also deal with what to do if a student finds a gun or what to do if a student finds what appears to be drugs.
“The main goal is to give law enforcement the opportunity to interact with students so that we can work to build that relationship with the community so that the students know that police officers are their friends, which is the overall theme of this program, to let the students know that police officers are their friends and that they are somebody they can trust,” said Beddingfield.
Going into the schools and building these relationships allows students to go home and tell their parents what they learned from these visits, which Beddingfield said is beneficial for the community because it’s showing a positive interaction with law enforcement.
Bringing in guest speakers is another element that Beddingfield wants to do again this school year.
“Often, we’ll ask kids what they want to be when they grow up and the purpose behind that is that it is a way to get the conversation started, but secondly, the overall theme is to get the students aware that they can be anything they choose to be, they just have to put the proper work and effort into it,” said Beddingfield. “Bringing in speakers that are not law enforcement gives the students the opportunity to interact with them as well. Getting that chance to interact with these folks gives them a closer sense of reality to their overall goals.”
Beddingfield also said that by bringing in a diverse group of speakers this will allow the students to set goals for themselves and interact with people who have a career in something that they may want to be.
“This is all about going into the community and into the schools and giving students the chance to interact with someone outside of law enforcement, but also incorporate safety into the class as well,” said Beddingfield.
Reach Kelly Duncan at 803-768-3123 ext. 1868 or on Twitter @TheNBOnews.