Kids Get Police Station Tour And More
Six Hadley Elementary School 8-year-olds visited the Swampscott Police Station Wednesday after their parents put in a winning bid for the tour and a cruiser ride at a school auction.
If kids still play cops and robbers these 8-year-olds have the inside track.
The students were triplets Jacob, Mia and Ava Taylor, Priya Cooper, Eli Jache and Madison Diehl. Their parents bid on and won the station tour and a cruiser ride at a Hadley auction for school enrichment programs.
The children and three parents arrived to the station at 7:15 am Wednesday at shift change.
It's a busy time. Officers are coming off the midnight shift and the day shift officers are arriving.
Information gets exchanged, orders given.
Officer Brendan Reen worked the night shift and gave the students a breakfast of muffins, donuts, bagels and juice and a tour.
Uniformed officers came and went, phones rang, rain slapped against windows.
Officer Reen took the kids to the roll call room, the detectives room, the dispatch room.
They met the dispatcher, officers, a detective, a street supervisor and a station supervisor.
They had pictures and fingerprints taken near the evidence room.
They asked questions.
One child thought a skunk was in the station.
"Are you sure there isn't a skunk in here?" he said.
The officer told him he was smelling a naturally occuring substance that was taken as evidence.
Officer Breen added his own stories to the tour.
He said sometimes police do not know the name of the person they have taken into custody.
One time a man gave him a false name and had a fake license to back it up.
The officer took the man's fingerprints on the electronic fingerprint machine and filed them off to the FBI.
The FBI response soon lit up the screen. The man was wanted in lots of states for lots of crimes and later extradited to another state to answer for crimes.
But first the man spent some time at the station in a cell in the basement.
Police take handcuffs off the prisoners when they walk them down the narrow staircase to the cells, the officer told the children.
The officer, the children and their parents then walked the creaky stairs to the basement.
The children saw the empty cells. They walked in the cells. And they spent about 10 seconds behind the sliding see-through door and were surrounded by pink walls.
They were painted pink because the color was thought to have a calming influence on prisoners, the officer said.
"What do you give them for food?" Eli asked.
They get a sandwich from a place in town if they are there long enough to need food but usually they are there only a short while and do not eat, the officer said.
One of the giris wanted to know if the woman's cell looked the same, and they walked in the woman's cell, finding it much like the men's.
The tour ended with a ride to school in a cruiser, blue lights flashing.
One by one they filed from the cruiser into the school unlikely to forget their adventure any time soon.