Last Thursday, Dec. 15, people may have noticed a Calgary Police Service (CPS) cruiser in front of Sacred Heart Academy, and yellow police tape cordoning off a section in front.
No crime was committed, and no one was injured. The CPS was at the school to help the Grade 6 students with their science unit, ‘Evidence and Investigation’.
“I started (this) because I thought it was interesting for the kids to get the hands-on perspective of what happens at a crime scene,” said teacher Renee DuBourdieu.
Students had a chance to practice evidence collection, learn about fingerprinting and take their own prints, and much more.
Three years ago she contacted the CPS to see if they would be interested in helping, and found them to be accommodating.
“We’ve had great success every year when we’ve done it. Very positive feedback from the kids, they are all on task with it and they learn a lot from it which is the point of the day,” said DuBourdieu.
Constable Steve Terry has been coming to the school to help with the crime scenes since the first year.
Terry said it is important to interact with people at a young age and show them there is a friendly face with the police, rather than them just being a law enforcement agency.
“It’s really important, because apart from teaching them stuff, these are the guys that we’re going to be dealing with later on anyway, so any opportunity to build rapport with anyone is fantastic,” said Terry.
He continued on to say every year is getting a little better as they are able to bring extra people out and different skill sets with them.
“This year we were able to bring out one of the patrol cars, we used that in one of the scenes. Kids were able to get pictures in there, sit inside the vehicle, and listen to the sirens. It was a really good experience for them to see some of the equipment we use as well,” said Terry.
DuBourdieu said the Grade 4 and 5 students see what is happening in the hallways and around the school and are usually anxious for their chance when they enter Grade 6.