The Marco Island Police Department sponsored the first “Coloring With A Cop” at their headquarters at the City Hall Campus on Saturday afternoon. The event was well attended, and provided the children with a variety of activities, including coloring in special booklets provided by the department and games such as knock over the cans and corn-hole. Attendees could have their fingerprints taken by an officer, draw out crime scene outlines at the front of the station, and of course, enjoy the requisite opportunity to talk on the P.A. system in one of the cruisers.
The children and their parents had the opportunity to quench their thirst with refreshments in the police department lobby.
The event was part of the community policing effort which has been in place the last several years where officers are encouraged to interact with the public in a non-formal setting.
This year’s School Resource Officer for the Marco Island Charter Middle School explained the importance of breaking down the stereotypes commonly applied to law enforcement officers. “We want to have the children understand that we are here to provide and assistance and guidance in a helpful way. They can be the frontline of protection by providing us with advanced warning of impending threats. When they get to know us in that way, we all win,” said Officer George Guyer.
Susan and Daniel Gross brought their grandson Alex to enjoy the festivities and take part in the fun activities. “This is just great for the kids, and even us,” said Susan Gross.
Whether they were having the outline of their bodies drawn around on the concrete outside the lobby where most of the other activities were going on, or they were out in the cruiser, getting to honk the horn or activate the siren, the children had nothing but wide grins.
The winner of the coloring contest was 6-year-old Charleen Kraemer, who was accompanied by her parents Claudia and Mark Kraemer and her brother James.