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Police remotely engage with children

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TO continue their engagement with primary school aged children, Mitchell Proactive Police Unit will launch Operation MITTENS for the remainder of term two.

Operation Mitchell Interactive Term Two Engagement Network Strategy will aim to continue fostering the relationship between police and primary school children.

The program is offered to all primary schools in the Mitchell Shire and has been adapted to a virtual space due to COVID-19 restrictions.

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Proactive police operative Senior Constable Heidi Twining, youth specialist officer Senior Constable Ryan Coleman and youth resource officer Senior Constable Brooke Manlane will take charge of the program.

Sen Const Twining said the Proactive Police Unit endeavoured to be innovative in its engagement of the younger generations.

“It is so important that young people have a trusting and positive relationship with local law enforcement, and know that even when the world changes we are still here supporting them,” she said.

“Police are just regular people who want the best for the community they serve.”

The program will consist of three components, including questions time with the officers, a weekly challenge and a video competition.

When police previously attended schools, they often questioned by students who wanted to know more about their line of work.

Students will now have the opportunity to have all their questions answered in the question and answer part of the program.

Each week the officers will also send a challenge through to the students, providing a short information video on the designated topic for the week, while also setting some homework questions.

Some of the topics students will be learning about include mental health resilience, road safety, phonetic alphabet, cyber safety, badges and ranks and crime prevention.

During week eight of the program, students will complete a summary of what they’ve learnt, and will submit their work.

The final component of the program will include a video competition, giving students the chance to produce their own crime prevention video on one of the topics they have learnt about.

The winner of the competition will receive the ‘Victoria Police Mitchell Shire Community Engagement Award’ and be presented with the award by a senior member of the Mitchell Police Service Area division.

“By having engagement with the young people, police become more approachable and it provides police the opportunity to empower the young people with skills and knowledge that keeps them safe, and therefor makes the community a safer place for everyone,” Sen Const Twining said.

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