Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Student Safety Patrol Honors Police Officers

More than a dozen members of the Buffalo Creek Elementary Safety Patrol toured the Spring Branch ISD Police Department on a recent afternoon, leaving “survival kits” made by students with district officers and staff.

Health Fitness instructor Jessica Lopez, who leads a 21-student safety patrol at the Blalock Road campus, said the Sept. 20 tour of the district police station impressed students. On the tour, they saw interview rooms, holding cells, police vehicle areas and fingerprinting equipment, as well as the most popular displays of closed-circuit television of campus schools – inside and out.

They watched Buffalo Creek’s after-school visitors come and go – via CCTV monitor miles away inside the Police Station on Ruland. 

But the police station visit was important for a simpler reason. “My patrol students were able to see what it takes to monitor the district and to keep us safe. I also felt it was important to show an authentic appreciation for our officers,” she said.

In that respect, the Buffalo Creek safety patrol came to the police station with both heartfelt and homemade offerings of love and respect. They created a color banner of the SBISD Police Dept. uniform patch with the words “Thank You” printed out above the department’s State of Texas decal.

Lopez hit on another bright idea with her students through a social media search. At school, they collected snack size candy and created 35 individual gift bags for officers printed with the label “Survival Kit for Police.”

The student-assembled gifts –paper bags with blue ribbon ties – had sweet, candy inspired notes attached:
  • LifesaversTo remind you of the many times you’ve been one
  • StarburstsFor the burst of energy you need
  • PaydayBecause you are not in it for the money
  • Hershey’s KissesTo show our love for you
  • GumTo help everyone stick together
  • Tootsie RollsBecause you have to roll with the punches
  • Peppermint PattiesTo help keep your cool
  • SnickersTo remember you need to laugh at least once a day
  • MoundsFor the mounds of courage you show
Kimberly Phan, one of the Buffalo Creek safety patrols, wrote about the police department tour. Students saw their own campus on closed-circuit television, a high point for many during the tour, including the fifth-grader. She states:

“This trip was awesome! Going around the Police Department was such a great experience. What I thought was most important was the man who received calls and checked the SBISD school cameras. . .The man who checks all the cameras makes sure that we are safe and there are no strangers at our school.”

She was also impressed with the department’s general appearance. “The police had everything they needed and were very organized,” Kimberly said.

Instructor Lopez noted that the fifth-graders are also at a key age to learn through a police department tour – and by seeing holding cells or fingerprinting equipment – that “when you do something wrong, it may follow you in life.”

SBISD Police Officer Cindy Garcia, who conducted the police department tour, is a Buffalo Creek Elementary Safety Patrol fan for what the students did to give the entire department a student-level show of support.

“It makes us all feel appreciated. They are truly interested in what we do every day and that means a lot,” Officer Garcia said.


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