Police and McGruff visit United Preschool

Published 11:00 am Thursday, May 13, 2010

Albert Lea police officers made two special stops at United Preschool on Wednesday to give the children a firsthand introduction about the roles of police and to show them their equipment and squad cars.

As part of National Police Week, Lt. Jeff Strom and officer Pat Dahl visited the 3-, 4- and 5-year-old children at the school, accompanied by always-popular McGruff the Crime Dog.

Before the officers arrived, the children watched a video to educate them about the roles of officers.

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Strom asked the students what policemen do in their jobs.

Answers from the children included “arrest bad guys,” “take care of us,” and “help people.”

He and Dahl showed the group the equipment they carry, including handcuffs, a flashlight, a walkie-talkie, gloves and a pen and paper.

After one child asked whether officers carry guns, Strom reminded the youngsters about gun safety.

The students asked a few other questions, after which they bundled up and walked outside to take turns crawling through the squad cars, high-fiving McGruff and giggling after they heard the sirens go off.

They left the children with some McGruff cards, as well as some Minnesota Twins baseball cards and some other cards on bicycle safety.

The visit is one of several events planned this week as part of National Police Week.

From 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, the Albert Lea Police Department and Freeborn County Sheriff’s Office will host an open house at the Freeborn County Government Center to give people the chance to come and meet with officers, take a tour of the Law Enforcement Center and look at various law enforcement vehicles.