But of course it’s benign, because it’s only the police doing it.
Rochester Police Chief James Sheppard said the program is not just an opportunity for children to have better views of law enforcement, but also a chance for his officers to learn from the interaction. Sheppard said officers usually engage with kids during problematic situations and this program allows the officers to see the kids as individuals.
“They probably went into it with a different mindset than they came out of it with,” he said. “Because it’s positive. It’s super-positive.”
Sheppard said he hopes the good relationship with the kids and officers will be long-lasting.
“I want them to come to us as role models and mentors,” he said. “If we establish a relationship with a young person at 6 years old, it’s going to be more enhanced when they’re 16.”
Note that the local paper dutifully shills for the police “public relations” effort here. No questioning or dissenting opinions are either sought or reported. The acceptable range of opinion appears to be “positive” to “super-positive”. And are these children going to be given similar exposure to criminal defense lawyers, in or out of “uniform”?
If I were a cynic I’d be tempted to say this was merely an effort to poison the future jury pool.