The Airdrie Public Library and its youngest patrons were quite enthralled when several members of the Airdrie Municipal Enforcement Team came to visit them earlier this week.
Christine Mills, the Administrative Assistant with Municipal Enforcement, who was also present during the visit said she is currently working on growing the department's community engagement and education programs. She said the event was part of the library's preschool program - The Community Helpers Program. Officers Brad Tomlinson, Carlo Margherit were accompanied by Mills during the event.
"We went and we played games and we talked about what our role within the city is and what a peace officer is; and the difference between a peace officer, a sheriff and an RCMP member," Mills said. "We had the car there for them [the kids] to look through. We read a story with them. It was just a chance to reach out and interact and introduce our officers to the kids."
Though Mills said that some of the kids were very quiet when first meeting the officers, they became much more lively when they got to ask a barrage of questions, climb into the officers' vehicles and even try the radio. She underlined that these types of interactions are especially important for children.
"We want the kids to feel safe and we want them to feel comfortable coming to us. The uniform scares a lot of people; kids especially," she said. "We want them to feel like they can come to us and we want people to understand our role within the city is and if you start with the kids - it's a good starting point."
Mills added that there are plans for more events such as the one that was held at the library, including working with the local schools to do a presentation on bike safety, as well as Municipal Enforcement participating in the Children's Festival.
Mills said observing the children as they interacted with Municipal Enforcement was endearing and exciting.
"The highlight for me was listening to the kids on the radio and just watching their eyes light up when somebody talks back to them."
The event at the library was just one of several where Airdrie's law enforcement has engaged with the public. While Municipal Enforcement was getting to know little Airdronians, Airdrie's RCMP members tried their hands at cribbage at The Hamlets at Cedarwood Station earlier on.
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