SPD surprises second grade class with visit PDF Print E-mail
Written by Janna Ross   
Wednesday, 31 January 2018 10:35

Surprises can make an ordinary day pretty special. Surprises will bring a smile to almost everyone’s face and smiles were abundant during a recent surprise visit.

Officers from the Sellersburg Police Department met outside Silver Creek Elementary School one recent morning to come together to surprise the second grade class of Morgan Belviy.

“I contacted the principal and talked to him, but nobody else knew. The students didn’t know and the teacher didn’t even know. We wanted to surprise the class with the visit,” explained Sellersburg Police Deputy Chief Major Matt Adams.

Officers from the department including Chief Russ Whelan, Adams, Sergeant Richard Wagner, School Resource Officer John Cortie, Patrolman Alexis Whelan and Patrolman Jake Lewis all gathered to surprise the students and Mrs. Belviy.

Prior to the visit, the students had taken the time to make handmade thank you cards for the department. Many of the cards thanked the officers for keeping the students safe. Many had creative drawings and ways to say thank you. One thank you card even stated the student would like to meet the officers one day.

Well, that day arrived on January 9, when the officers walked into the classroom to a group of surprised and giddy second graders.

“All the kids were surprised. They were so excited,” Adams added.

The officers gave each student Jr. Police Badges then answered all the questions the students had for each officer.

“We were able to interact with the students and answered lots of questions. We were there for a little while.  The students really enjoyed the visit,” Adams explained.

Adams is taking his new role as Deputy Chief of the Sellersburg Police Department and promoting public relations. He wants the police officers to be available to the citizens of Sellersburg and he wants the kids to always feel comfortable approaching a Sellersburg Police officer. He believes visits like this one is important.

“With me wanting to go back to the path of PR (public relations), I want kids to see we are human beings. We care for our community. When they see us out, I want them to feel safe with us. I don’t want them to feel like they can’t come talk to us because of the negative perspective some police get,” Adams concluded.

Belviy was just as surprised as her students when the officers walked through her classroom door. Luckily, the students had voted for indoor recess because the weather was not great. The students did not seem to mind their recess being interrupted by the visit from the Sellersburg officers.

“Myself and the students were in shock. My first reaction was, oh, no, what did we do wrong. Then I realized what was going on,” Belviy stated. “The officers pointed out some of the cards and read what they had said. My students were so excited to meet them.”

After the visit from the officers, Belviy took the opportunity to again discuss what police officers do for the community they protect.

“I again reiterated what they do for us. How they keep us safe and how they help in so many different ways and how they help to keep the entire community safe,” she added.

The Jr. Police Badges the students received were a big hit for each of the kids.

“I had to put the badges on a lot of the kids. They wore them all day long. They were so proud of it and excited to wear it,” Belviy explained.

She concluded, “it was definitely exciting for them to come in and it’s important to thank them for what they do every day. We talked about police officers, fire fighters, doctors and nurses and how they take care of the community and keep us all safe. It was a great experience for my students.”

Silver Creek Elementary School Principal Chris Kane was thankful for the officers’ recent visit to his school.

“We were very fortunate to have several officers visit our school and talk with Mrs. Belviy’s class. The officers came in and answered questions for students, but more importantly, built positive connections with them. Students were able to see the officers as role models, public servants, as well as real people,” Kane stated.

He concluded, “Our students, many of which had stated that they had not met an officer, now know and respect the officers that visited. We are thankful for their efforts and time that they were willing to give our young people, as well as the community.”