For the second year in a row, third grade Manchester Township Elementary School students were taught the ins and outs of law enforcement and given important safety lessons from Manchester Township Police officers.
The program at MTES came together last year when some female students asked teacher Melissa Wettengel whether a career in law enforcement was something they could pursue. In an effort to show the inclusiveness of the profession, Ms. Wettengel organized the program with the Manchester Township Police. During the planning stages, the program grew into an opportunity to give students a thorough view of law enforcement and safety through hands-on learning stations.
“Each of the three interactive stations at the school was created to give students a first-hand look at the equipment a Manchester Township Police officer uses each day,” said Chief Lisa Parker. “Our officers also offered students important information they can use to stay safe while in an automobile or on a bike.”
Detective Sergeant Christopher Hemhauser and Detective Robert Maccaquano gave students a lesson in fingerprints and explained how they serve as unique identifiers. Patrolman Matthew Juralewicz showed off one of the department’s Humvees, which police rely upon primarily in disaster situations. Students were able to sit inside of the vehicle and examine its equipment.
Then, students toured a Manchester Township Police squad car with School Resource Officer Chris Cerullo. SRO Cerullo stressed the importance of using safety equipment, including a seatbelt when inside a motor vehicle and a helmet when on a bike.
Patrolman Christian Nazario demonstrated the SWAT gear and vehicle officers use in the field. Students were able to see a protective ballistic vest, breaching tools, hostage negotiation throw phone, and remote controlled Reconnaissance Robot with video camera that can enter spaces deemed too dangerous for an officer.
The Manchester Township Police are proud to maintain a strong relationship with the School District, which includes sharing positive interactions with our students. In May, police joined with fifth graders throughout the district to celebrate their graduation from DARE, a comprehensive drug and violence prevention curriculum.