PH International

Kids, Cops & Safety

Georgia | Georgia Community Action and Linkages for Legal Socialization | 1 Jan 2016

Police officers, School Resource Officers (SROs) and teachers are engaged in games, fun activities and non-formal education sessions with elementary class students at Tbilisi schools.

It was decided to develop a new module for the students of elementary classes titled, “Kids, Cops & Safety.” This module was created to establish positive attitudes and relations between elementary school student, SROs and police officers, to increase the knowledge and understanding of students about rights and responsibilities, as well as conflict resolution methods and community safety.

Implementation of the component started from November, 2015. On the first introductory meeting at school #176, there were police cars, motor bikes and patrol officers greeting children in the school yard after classes. Kids got a chance to sit and explore inside the patrol cars, sit and on the motor bikes and play cops for one day. “By engaging with the police through such friendly activities, allowed the children to trust and respect authorities” – stated one of the teachers.

Students of school #84 shared the same enthusiasm while meeting their patrol officer, Levan , “It’s a good feeling to know that police officers are there for us” – said an 11 year old girl from school #84. After ice-braking, informational and energizing activities, led by Patrol officer, the kids where excited to chat, play and even take selfies with them.

A total of 50 meetings were held, out of which 50 of them were led by SROs and teachers and 20 of those were also with participation of patrol officers. Students were excited having had a chance of friendly interaction with police officers. They expressed a great enthusiasm and the need of friendly communication with police officers in order to make sure that it is actually possible. Unfortunately, many of them admitted that, in their minds, police were only for punishing criminals and had never thought of their other activities and functions.

Based on the success of the process, the Ministry of Internal Affairs became interested in widening the scale of this initiative and to incorporate it in their own agenda. The Ministry decided to train 24 patrol officers from each region of Georgia. As a result, intensive training was delivered on the premises of Ministry of Internal Affairs, by the PH international, Georgia trainer. Additionally 24 patrol officers acquired the skills and methods of non-formal education and ways of delivering the specific module on traffic safety to elementary class students. The head of Patrol Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs personally attended the training and encouraged the officers to become involved in such community activities for the purpose of the safety of future generation.