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Editorial: Blue in the Schools is a good addition

It's easy for a police officer to make a bad first impression. More often than not, when they're interacting with the public it's because something has gone wrong. Because they've made a traffic stop, or because someone has been the victim of a crime. They're often put in positions where they need to be in command of the situation, and at times that comes at the cost of being polite.

Get to know most police officers outside of such situations, and you'll find them very different. But most people never get a chance to do that.

The answer? For police, it may be getting to know people when they're a lot younger. Say, elementary school.

That is part of the reasoning - but only part of it - behind a new program called Blue in the Schools. The program, being implemented this fall in Farmington, asks police officers to take part of their regular patrol time to stop by the city's elementary schools. To be seen. To interact with kids and parents and staff members.

There's a bit of public relations in the effort. It lets people see a side of police they might not otherwise see.

It also gets them more comfortable with police. Ideally, it will make them more likely to call when they see something out of the ordinary. That's what police officers want.

And, of course, it adds a level of security. Officers will stop by at different times, on different days. Their presence could be a deterrent to anyone who might consider doing something to harm anyone in the schools.

The Farmington Police Department already has liaison officers who have a presence in the district's middle and high schools. So does Rosemount. This is an additional step, and we think it's a good one.

Nathan Hansen

Nathan Hansen has been a reporter and editor with the Farmington Independent and the Rosemount Town Pages since 1997. He is very tall.

(651) 460-6606