If your child is lost, he needs to know that a police officer can help him find safety and a way to reunite with you. Many kids learn the responsibilities of police officers in school and how to summon these community workers. Start your child’s police officer education with a kid-friendly description of what police officers do.
Enforcing the Law
Police officers are concerned with ensuring public safety, which can involve enforcing the law by arresting people who they suspect have broken the law. Tell your child that police don’t make the laws, but they are in charge of ensuring that people obey the laws. Talk about laws that your child might be familiar with, such as stopping at red lights and stop signs and crossing at the crosswalk.
Let your child know that police officers maintain public safety in various ways, including directing traffic, finding lost children and patrolling the neighborhood. Point out a police cruiser and let your child know that the officer behind the wheel watches for people who want to hurt others or steal their belongings. Explain that if he gets lost, he can seek out a police officer and let the officer know that he is lost. Role-play providing his name, address and telephone number to the officer.
Police offers promise to serve the public in various ways, including helping stranded motorists, responding to an accident and calling for medical help, and intervening when fisticuffs erupt. Explain that your child can summon a police officer in an emergency by dialing 911. Ensure that she knows only to dial 911 in an emergency and that she must tell the person who answers the phone her name and where she is. Talk about the kinds of calls a police officer responds to, such as a stranger trying to get into the house, when something is stolen or if a child is hit by a car.
Your child might see a police officer at his school, business or church. Officers sometimes teach people how to avoid becoming victims of crime. Encourage him to listen to the officer so he can learn how to stay safe. Explain that the police can help start a neighborhood watch and other programs that keep families in your area safe.
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