A group of school children from Kings Norton had a great time when they were invited to visit firearms police at a state of the art training facility in Perry Barr.
The excited Year 3 pupils from Kings Norton Primary School spent two hours touring the West Midlands Police operations centre – taking aim (with fake guns!) on the firing range, dressing up in police riot gear and sitting in police vehicles before getting the opportunity to ask real officers about their life as police officers.
West Midlands Police invited the class after reading their lovely letters of thanks to officers keeping the city safe after recent terror attacks.
Deputy Head Dawn Chapman, said: “After the awful events in Manchester and London we were talking in class about how to stay safe and who protects us. Many of the children had said how they’d seen more police in Birmingham and officers carrying guns.
“We wanted to stress to them that they shouldn’t feel scared and that the officers were there to keep people safe. It was a really good discussion and it ended with the children saying they’d like to write letters to the police to say thanks.
“It was a lovely surprise for us to be invited to the police base and the pupils had a fantastic time, especially on the range and using the sirens and flashing lights – as you’d expect the noisy things proved particularly popular! ”
Local Police Sergeant Mike Dunbar – who accompanied the children on their visit – said: “It’s great that children are having discussions in school about issues such as security… we want children to feel at ease approaching and speaking to our officers.
“You hear parents telling children if they don’t do as they’re told then they’ll tell a police officer! I know it’s only light-hearted but for children to be scared of seeing police, or see them as an intimidating authority figure, is the last thing we want.
“You can see from the photos and from the looks on the kids’ faces on the day that they all had a wonderful time – they were our VIPs for the day and it was a pleasure to host them. Hopefully we’ll get chance to say hello to some of them again on patrol soon.”
Mrs Chapman added: “Quite a few of the children said how they’d like to be police officers. So who knows, perhaps in the future they may be the ones giving children a guided tour around a police station.”
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