Sunday January 20, 2019, saw the blossoming of a great partnership between the Milwaukee Police and the Milwaukee Central Seventh-day Adventist Adventurer Club in Wisconsin. At the invitation of our Adventurer leader Erwine Clerge, Officer Dodds of the Community Outreach and Education arm of the Milwaukee Police Precinct stationed at the Police Academy, came to our Adventurer Club meeting to talk with eager Adventurers and their parents about being safe in our community.
Child safety is a tough topic to discuss, but as a community, our church takes its mandate of raising children in a safe environment seriously. Officer Dodds skillfully led the discussion into areas of concern for parents and the community. A series of high-profile national and local cases of abducted children painfully remind us that we still live in a world filled with danger and that communication between parents and children are critical. Officer Dodds established a rapport with our children and shared some important tips on child safety. Some of the more critical tips include children always seeking their parents’ permission and follow their parents’ rules as it relates to letting strangers into their home or going with individuals they might be familiar with, but who are familiar strangers. Officer Dodds stressed the importance of staying with parents in crowded areas and checking in with parents before visiting with friends. In addition, Officer Dodds stressed that if lost or hurt, children should look for safe individuals like police officers, their pastors, or a security guard to seek assistance. Of course, all the kids were excited about repeating the number they should call if they have an emergency: 911!
To close his presentation, Officer Dodds brought bears and coloring books that emphasized his presentation for all our children. Overall, it was a wonderful interaction that will help our children think about and practice safety.
Sheldon R. Bryan, Milwaukee Central District Pastor