Sara Cowden-Roe, B.A., M.A., B.Ed., OCT

Community Safety with WRPS

Recently, our guardian students had the opportunity to visit our local police station to learn more about community safety and what it takes to be an officer. 

It can be intimidating to speak with a police officer, and especially so for international students who are learning English. 

But our students did not have to worry about that. Officer Martin welcomed our students with enthusiasm and respect, taking their language needs into consideration by speaking clearly.
First, we learned about different safety issues for the Waterloo community. It is important for students to understand these things because they may have to face them someday. Luckily, our community is a pretty safe one. 

One issue, specifically for international students, is that of fraud. International students are often targeted in scams because they are often in the country alone and may not have a fluent understanding of English. According to Officer Martin, scammers will target international students because they are likely not to report the crime to anyone. 

We learned that reporting the crime, even if you are ashamed that it happened, is the best thing to do. There are many resources for international students to use for reporting and victim support, including in their own language. 
Next, we toured the station. It was much bigger than we thought it would be!

The students were amazed to see the detective department looking just like the set of a prime time drama.

They were also interested to see the evidence lockers and hear about how evidence is treated from crime scenes.
We ended the tour in the temporary holding area where impaired drivers are taken after traffic stops. Here we learned about the dangers of driving under the influence, and the risk you take when riding in a vehicle with someone that’s been drinking. 
Finally, our students thanked our local officers by presenting them with notes of appreciation, designed by one of our students through the art charity Give Your Love Club! The officers were very happy to receive the recognition, and we were honoured to present the cards to them.
Visiting those who keep your community safe and showing them your love is an important part of being a good citizen and community member. Our students learned a lot from the visit, and more importantly were able to put a friendly face to our local police. 

Thanks for reading!