McGruff the Crime Dog Visits Head Start
The El Paso Police Department (EPPD) and McGruff the crime dog visited the Lyndon B. Johnson Head Start center as part of Head Start’s safety awareness initiative.
For years the National Crime Prevention Council and the Ad Council’s iconic crime-fighting bloodhound has educated young children on subjects ranging from drugs, bullying, safety and the importance of staying in school. With his famous motto “Take a bite out of crime!” McGruff reaches children through songs, commercials, educational books and videos, and personal appearances with local police.
McGruff and members of the EPPD engaged Head Start children through fun, interactive activities designed to teach them about personal and public safety, as well as who to go to for help when they felt sick, in danger or uncomfortable.
“At this age, children are just beginning to find their voices. They need to be able to recognize when something is not right , who they can go to for help and know that they will be safe,” said Head Start Family Service Worker, Annette Macias.
Macias points out that now is an important time for children to become familiar with the role of local police officers.
‘’There’s been a lot of negative media surrounding police officers lately, and this can have very dangerous side effects on children’s safety,” said Macias. “Children are very perceptive and if they are taught to be afraid of police they will not go to them when they need help. We need to reaffirm with them that police officers are not the enemy, but their friends who will protect them and keep them safe.”
At the end of the presentation, McGruff and the officers responded to the children’s many questions. The first time event was so successful that Macias plans to bring the Crime dog and his partners back in May.
*Crime Prevention - McGruff the Crime Dog. (n.d.). Retrieved February 11, 2016