Monday, March 7, 2016

Mother Catherine Academy Visits #SMCSO Headquarters, "Showing Love to our Local Heroes."

Students throughout St. Mary’s County have taken field trips to Elm’s Beach, the local library, and can now add the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office to their field trip list. The Sheriff’s Office warmly welcomed students from the Mother Catherine Academy on Friday, Feb. 12, as part of an art project called, “Showing Love to our Local Heroes.”

When the agency was contacted about this project, they enthusiastically agreed. The Sheriff’s Office strives to maintain a positive relationship with local youth and their parents. When police officers become involved with the community at this level, they become community organizers, planners, and educators. Students are introduced to the police in a friendly environment that encourages trust and security.

In preparation for this adventure with the students, School Resource Officer Corporal Angela Delozier, and Special Operations Division Sgt. Richard Russell organized a scavenger hunt. They strategically placed ‘evidence clues’ around headquarters for students to find, the clues provided insight into each division the students visited.  Students received a reward for finding an evidence clue.

During the tour, students were given a first-hand view of the Sheriff’s Office. Their first stop was the Duty Office, also known as the hub of the Sheriff’s Office; this room is the central location for all Patrol officers.

The second stop included a visit to the Crime Lab, where they met Crime Lab Technician, Megan Roberts. The students also had the opportunity to “visit” a detention cell and the Squad Room, where patrol deputies meet for “Roll Call.”  At the conclusion of their tour of Headquarters, the students presented the deputies with hand decorated Valentine’s Day cards. Drawn on the cards were American flags and the Sheriff’s Office logo. The cards, candy, and fruit were distributed to each deputy’s mailbox.

Deputies from the Sheriff’s Office joined the students for lunch at Salsas in Leonardtown, where Corporal Delozier organized a sing-a-along for the students with birthdays. The kids had smiles from ear to ear, wearing the famous Salsa Sombrero hats while the group sang to them.

The tour was a great success and brought our community together. The goal of the tour, like Sheriff Tim Cameron says, is to continue to “work to improve the quality of life in our communities in partnership with our citizens.” The Sheriff's Office will host more tours in the future.