A SMILE is proving to be just as disarming as flashing lights and sirens when it comes to proactive community policing in Emerald.
Senior Constable Kellie Silvester is spreading the message from kindy through to secondary schools that police officers are approachable, friendly and willing to help navigate predatory behaviours and some of the perils of social networking.
At the C&K Emerald Preschool and Community Kindergarten this week, Snr Const Silvester spruiked the theme to an audience of upturned, inquisitive faces.
“Here, I’m the friendly police officer, educating them on seatbelt safety and what to do in an emergency,” she said.
“Things like how to call Triple Zero and also how to utilise it. Lots of kids are taught to ring Triple Zero but not what to do after that. Most of them ring and hang up. I guess a lot of them perceive seeing a police officer as thinking you’re in trouble, which is quite often the case, but that’s why we’re trying to get a more friendly message across – that it’s okay to talk to the police, wave to the police. We don’t want them to be scared, that’s the main thing.”
Snr Const Silvester, a mother herself, said the approach for primary school children was to include education on the use of mobile phones and personal safety.
“It is more about safety, personal safety and protective behaviours which little kids don’t understand,” she added.
Snr Const Silvester is willing to go to more visits to kindergartens and schools if interest is expressed. She can be contacted on 4983 8100.
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