Tomorrow is National Walk Safely to School Day and Adopt-a-Cop of nine years, Senior Constable Ben Harm is an important part of the Jindalee school community, facilitating a ‘walking school bus’ every week.
“My main role as an Adopt-a-Cop is to enhance the relationship between local police and the school community,” Senior Constable Harm said.
Each week, Senior Constable Harm leaves the Jindalee Police Beat with his walking shoes on and sets up a ‘walk to school drop off point’ for students to be dropped off at by parents, away from the main congestion zone outside the front of the school.
It’s one of the many programs Senior Constable Harm facilitates for the school.
“I do a number of things throughout the year, we run a cyber safety program with the kids, we run a bicycle safety program with the year fours as well as this ‘walking bus’ for our walking to school program, trying to get more kids actively travelling to school.”
The walking bus allows children to be dropped at the designated point and be escorted to school safely by Senior Constable Harm and Volunteers in Policing, alongside their friends and classmates.
The program enables a bit more physical activity in the students’ school day whilst simultaneously decreasing drop off congestion out the front of the school.
It may be a small walk each week, but it’s making big changes in the kids’ attitudes.
“I’ve found that now, when any police come here, the kids are really friendly, they’re not scared of police anymore.
“This program is also teaching the kids that police are one of the people they can trust.”
As the weather begins to cool, Senior Constable Harm will continue escorting the school kids to the front gates each week.