Show off S.W.A.T. gear, bomb disposal robot, K-9 and more
Story and photos by Scott Robertson
When the pre-K through first grade students arrived at North Side Elementary School last Wednesday morning, they had no idea they’d soon meet a robot, a police dog, and a S.W.A.T. officer complete with riot gear. Yet that’s exactly what happened as the Johnson City Police Department put on a special presentation for the youngsters as part of their school’s Community Helpers Week.
Officer David Holstclaw is the school resource officer for North Side. “Some of the teachers asked me if I could come up with something to show the kids what all the police department does,” Holstclaw said.
Several officers took part in the event, which saw around 125 students rotate between four “stations” in the school’s back parking area.
“The bomb squad came with their robot to show how they can disarm bombs,” Holstclaw said. “Our traffic division showed their cruisers and a motorcycle and talked about car seats and things of that nature. A S.W.A.T. team member showed the different equipment used by that group, and then a K-9 officer brought Cliff – we call him Cliffy – to show off different things we can do with the dog.”
The bomb technician, K-9 officer and S.W.A.T. team member are all school resource officers in addition to their other duties, said Holtsclaw, so those officers were already well-versed in communicating with young children. “We’re very fortunate to have specialized-trained people in this job,” Holstclaw said.