Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The Last Requirement

For a few months, we have been waiting for Keaton to be able to finish his last requirement in cub scouts, to earn his Bear rank.  This month he will be 10, so we needed to have it done before his birthday!  The last thing he needed to do was to visit a police station and talk with a police officer.  It didn't have to be long, but it needed to get done!  During the summer months, I often called the station to set up an appointment for this to happen. Despite numerous calls and messages left, I never recieved a call back.  I had hopes of bringing all the kids with me, and thought it would be a fun summer activity for us, and also a great way to support all the lessons and talks we've had with the kids, about fire safety, our family escape plan, emergency information, etc.

Well, at the urgency of his scout leaders, I decided to just take Keaton down to the station one evening, on my way to do a little  grocery shopping, with the hope that if we showed up, we couldn't be ignored.  I thought we'd get a few minutes to chat with a police officer, so we waited in the lobby until someone came out to greet us.

After about fifteen minutes, the officers were done with their meeting, and one came out and introduced himself as Officer Scott.  He said "Well, what do you want to know?"  Keaton sorta shrugged his shoulders, and so the officer said "Well, come on back and let's have a tour!"

So, Keaton and I followed him back and began a tour of the police department. We saw where they had their meetings, where they "questioned" suspects, where their chief's  office was, where they had a breakroom and a locker room, and then we went down the hall to the fire station half of the building, and interruped the firemen's dinner.

The firemen were more than obliging, as they showed Keaton around their quarters. They showed us the "tv room", where they like to watch Cops.  They showed where they slept, the wall of autographs they have of everyone who has worked there, their display case where they have fun memorabelia, and then they did a test for the alarm system, to show Keaton what it sounds like when they are called to an emergency day or night.

After that, they took Keaton out to the bay where they fully explored every nook and cranny of the firetruck. We saw every compartment and what it held in it, from hoses to tools to flashlights to oxygen to ladders and nozzles.  Keaton even got to wear the chief's hat, look through a special tool that can see heat sources through walls, and turn on all the lights and sirens that go with the truck.  Pretty neat!

When we were done with that, Officer Scott took us back to his side of the building, where he had to find things that would be as neat for us to do as what the firemen showed us.  We were taken into the dispatch control room, where we met the 911 operator that recieves all the calls in our area.  We saw the dozen screens that he had to monitor at all times, which showed him what calls the officers/EMT/firemen were currently on.   He told us how 911 calls get routed to specific areas, and even pretended that Keaton was calling him, and we went through the  whole "What's your emergency" spill.  It was discovered that Keaton did not know our exact address, but he knew what street we lived on, so through a series of questions about the neighborhood, being close to a school, and whether our house faced the mountains, he was able to deduce where we lived, and thereby, could send help if  needed.

Then we went out back where Keaton sat in the driver's seat of Officer Scott's police car.  He started the engine, turned on all the sirens and lights, and got to see all the neat controls and equipment they have in their police cars.

Needless to say, our un-planned five minute visit turned into the greatest experience for Keaton.  Both of us learned a lot, and we appreciated all the attention and time these men took to make Keaton's experience well remembered.


Jen Sue Wild said...

Ya lots of posting today. looks like you all have been having all sorts of fun!!

dippyrooroo said...

That's so cool! I can totally imagine the police man trying to pull out 'the big guns' (so to speak) to match or show up the firemen. I know from being related to a policeman that they hate that everyone loves firemen, but bristle when the police come around!

courtney said...

I could totally see Keaton wanting to be a police officer after that experience. Very cool of those men to do that!

Colleen said...

Nice work, Keaton (and mom too, because I know mom's work is REALLY what it takes!). What a great trip to the police station!