Police department welcomes local children

By Judy Henderson - ReminderNews
Suffield - posted Wed., Nov. 30, 2011
Showing off their shiny new police badges are (l-r) Samantha, Caeden and Rowan. Photos by Judy Henderson.
Showing off their shiny new police badges are (l-r) Samantha, Caeden and Rowan. Photos by Judy Henderson.

Now that the Kent Memorial Library is temporarily sharing space at the Suffield Town Hall, there is little room to spare. So when Children’s Librarian Wendy Taylor discovered that a room at the nearby police station was empty every Tuesday morning at 10:30, she jumped at the chance to use it for her weekly story hour. On the morning of Nov. 22, that story hour included a tour of the Suffield Police Department itself.

Greeted by “Officer Pete” - also known as K9 Officer Peter Osowieki - the group’s first stop was at the department’s Communications Center, where Osowieki explained to the children that all of the equipment in that room is there to “tell the us where to go when you need help.”

Then it was on to the detention cells, which, explained Osowieki, “are only for people who have done something bad.”

While showing the kids the department’s fingerprinting machine, Osowieki reminded all the mothers about the importance of children’s identification programs, such as MyChip, the Masonic Youth Child Identification Program, which provides free videotaping, fingerprinting, dental impressions, and DNA sampling - all of which can help locate a missing child, and all of which is sent directly to the parents for safe keeping.

A few minutes at the mug shot machine was followed by what Osowieki said would be a close-up tour of a real police car - and the kids did spend some time climbing in and out of the back and front seats of his police SUV. But in between came a very special surprise.

Osowieki introduced everyone to “Z,” his four-legged canine partner. While very intimidating to anyone breaking the law, Z was as friendly as could be toward the children, wagging his tail wildly and offering kisses to anyone willing to accept them - yet listening with one ear for the sound of Osowieki’s voice, to which he is trained to respond instantly.

At the end of the tour, Osowieki gave the children shiny police badges, while each young visitor received a whole sheet of police stickers from Children’s Librarian Wendy Taylor.

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