LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - At a time when tensions are high in many cities between police and their communities, here at home there's an effort underway to start communication early.
Things seemed a little strange at Cane Run Elementary Wednesday with several police cruisers outside and officers walking down the hallways. It was an unexpected visit and the officers were carrying gift bags for every student filled with coloring books, crayons, wristbands and a badge.
The students found out they could ask any questions they wanted and they didn't hold back. One of the first came from a 4th grade girl who asked, "Have you used your weapons on anybody?"
"I have used this (gun) before when somebody tried to hurt me," explained an officer in the classroom. "We try to make sure we don't hurt anybody and we try to do everything to protect ourselves and also you and your families."
That's a message Shively Police Chief Kevin Higdon believes isn't being heard enough by kids. Higdon wasn't immune from tough questions either. A boy asked him, "What happens if they start running?"
"If the bad guys start running?" Higdon said, "hopefully we can catch them. Sometimes we don't and sometimes we do."
"There's a negative connotation associated with the police right now," said Sha'Lori Moore, a 4th Grade teacher, "and they were able to ask them and be provided the answers that the police are there to help them and not necessarily to run them down, and lock them up which were their first questions."
Moore said she believes after the officers left, the kids had a different view of them. Higdon agreed.
"They hear a lot of bad things," Higdon said, "when in all actuality 95 percent of the things that officers do are good and that's why here."
Students, like Lyneice Blakey, 9, had a lot of questions. Lyneice said she understood why Higdon wanted to bring his officers to meet them.
"It was fun and it was good," said a smiling Lyneice.
Even though she's wearing her badge, Lyneice has no plans to be a police officer. She wants to be their boss instead.
"I'm either going to be the president, the mayor or the
The Shively Police Cares 4 Kids Program was made possible with the help of the Shively FOP Lodge 17 and the Shively City Council. The program's next stops are Schaffner Elementary, Mill Creek Elementary and Mary Queen of Peace Daycare.