Melbourne Police Department Starts New Partnership Program With Brevard Schools
By Melbourne Police Department // August 24, 2016
BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – The Melbourne Police Department has partnered with the Brevard County School System to increase their presence and build bridges within local elementary schools by starting two great initiatives.
The first one they are implementing is a program called “Walk and Talk.” Each day an officer will be assigned to respond to a local public elementary school and check in at the front office.
After this, the officer walks around the school and is available to talk to any of the students or staff. Sometimes the officer will be accompanied by an administrator or a teacher and they are encouraged to engage the students in friendly conversation and to answer any questions the students or the faculty may have regarding law enforcement.
The second program they are implementing is based off the hugely successful “Coffee with a Cop” platform. We call it “Lunch with a Cop”.
Once a month, officers will respond to a local elementary school and sit down and have lunch with the children. There are many positives to this program, whether it be used as a rewards system for well-behaved children or just as a nice meet and greet for the all children, it will be a positive experience for everyone.
Also, this program can be tailored to meet the needs of the elementary school curriculum. The children eat lunch everyday with their entire grades so if the administrators of the selected school would like to have a police officer to eat with the 6th grade class to coincide with their civics lessons then it can be done.
There are many ways they can conduct this program and it all depends on the individual school.
Both of these programs are exciting to the police officers and the schools faculties. There are three goals for these programs; the first is to break down the barriers between the schools and law enforcement.
The second goal is to make the officers feel comfortable if they ever have to head to the schools in the time of an emergency.
Finally, the last goal is to increase police presence on BPS campuses for enhanced security.
“We need to be actively involved in our elementary schools if we are going to protect and serve our community. These children are the future and they need to feel comfortable with law enforcement before an emergency arises,” said Chief Steve Mimbs.
“We need to know them before we HAVE to know them.”