Waco PD Partners with Schools for Jr. Crimefighter Program
Waco ISD Elementary students will be having some special lunch guests this Spring thanks to a collaborative program between the Waco Police Department and the school district.
Students in all 15 Waco ISD elementary schools will get a lunchtime visit from Traffic Enforcement officers as part of Operation Jr. Crimefighter, an effort to “connect” with kids and help them see a more personal side of local police men and women.
Waco PD Sergeant Scott Holt came up with the idea and Waco ISD was happy to partner on the program.
“I saw an opportunity to bring our Officers and children together for some encouraging and positive fellowship,” Holt explained. “As Officers, we know a necessary evil is arresting the bad guys but we are about so much more. Together, our officers partnering with schools can make a difference.”
Over an eight-week period, Traffic Enforcement Unit officers will visit two campuses each week during lunch period. They will have a meal with a small group of children specially selected by the principal at that school. Then the officers will visit with larger groups of students in the cafeteria, asking and answering questions and being a positive role model.
“Sgt. Holt’s idea to connect with the most valuable resource of our city’s future, our children, will go a long way towards developing a positive bond between officers and the youth we serve,” said Waco Police Sgt. Patrick Swanton.
Waco ISD has its own police force, and Chief Ken Boatman also was in favor of the program. “We support any effort that helps students see police officers in a positive way, reinforcing we are there to help our students and their families,” he said.
Waco ISD Superintendent Dr. Bonny Cain liked the idea, as well. “Officers are good people with families, and kids just like many of our students. Any chance we get to positively affect the relationship between police and our kids is an opportunity we need to take advantage of,” she said.