The Miami Dade Police Department paid a visit to Allison Academy in order to raise awareness about law enforcement officers, present them in a new light, and explain that the role of the police is not to be scary and intimidating, but to keep everyone safe and attain criminal justice where it’s needed.
At Allison Academy, we place great importance on making our students an active part of the community. With that in mind, we always create opportunities for student exchange programs and ways to enrich the students’ knowledge outside the classroom.
Establishing a relationship with law enforcement, building trust, and providing an opportunity for an open dialogue between our students and local police officers is one of the ways we hope to break down perceived barriers and form a positive relationship with the students.
Furthermore, introducing the police to the youth as human beings, not just officers on duty, can be a great step in the right direction, because in doing so, we improve the students’ perception of the criminal justice system. In addition, this allows the officers to share real-world lessons and discuss relevant issues that both they and the kids experience and go through in the world around them.
Police officers are fun too
A police visit to a school can bring many benefits to the classroom and one of them for sure is changing the perception of the role of the police in young people’s lives. There are many prejudices and stereotypes about police officers, but by meeting them in person, our students realized that they are very down-to-earth and actually fun!
This week, as part of our community outreach, we had officers from the City of North Miami Beach visit our school in the hope of establishing connections and opening a dialogue with our students. Students had an opportunity to engage with the officers, learn about their day-to-day training, weapons, and ask pressing questions. Some of the topics the police covered were the following: the process of becoming a police officer, why police act and respond to situations in certain ways, and drug/alcohol/driving-under-the-influence awareness.
Students at Allison Academy had the chance to hang out with the officers who came to visit, ask questions about their experiences and work, and even try on their work gear and bulletproof vests! For a moment, our students felt seriously ready to fight criminals back-to-back with the officers!
Why are police visits to schools beneficial?
Community police officers often take part in the lives of their neighborhoods, not just for work, but also to really make a difference and bring a sense of safety to their communities and surroundings. That is why police visits to schools are important – because by meeting the youth in person and getting to know them, they can break the stereotype of scary police officers who will punish them for the smallest of misdemeanors.
The other big benefit of police visits to elementary and high schools is that the police are in charge of promoting various prevention-related topics, such as preventing youth violence, affiliation with street gangs, drugs, and personal safety.
A close interaction between the police on one side and schools, students, and teachers on the other is a small step in creating a safe community in which there is absolute mutual trust between law enforcement and civilians.
In order to create a completely safe space for all our students where they can study and develop themselves without concerns for their safety, Allison Academy strives to introduce them to all the relevant aspects of the criminal justice system. Because when young people are educated about avoiding dangers and hazards and know where to go and who to trust if they ever encounter problems, there is a good chance of creating a safe enough space for them in society.
Buliding a better community
At Allison Academy, we strive to maintain and enhance our student’s safety and well-being. We are proud of the atmosphere of trust, acceptance, and safety we have established between our students and the teaching staff. We also constantly look for opportunities for our students to become active citizens, gain a better understanding of the local community, and establish positive relationships outside school.