The Board of Education Police Department was searching for a way to both connect with the public and showcase the many programs that involve SCCPSS students with officers. Campus Police Corporal Lisa Darby came up with the idea of a Crime Prevention Vehicle wrapped with a design representing the department's involvement with the students of Savannah-Chatham County Public Schools.
Corporal Darby says she wanted the vehicle to the officers as friendly and to represent what the B. O. E.P.D. has to offer our students. The finished design on the Crime Prevention Vehicle represents three programs that engage students with officers in the district. Those are:
Safe Routes Program/Walking School Bus which has a team go into the neighborhood around a school and survey the area to find the safest routes for our students to walk to and from school in order to implement the walking school bus. The Safe Routes Team includes Campus Police and other stake holders such as Savannah Traffic Engineers, Georgia Safe Routes to School, Healthy Savannah, Safe kids, Code Enforcement and Savannah Police Youth Officers.
Junior Police Academy – A 10-week program geared toward 7th graders. SCCPSS middle schools that participate can nominate 10 cadets to join the program each year. Throughout the ten-week course, officers teach the students about Ethics and Professionalism, The Justice System, Communication skills, Investigations, Problem Solving and Recognizing Negative Behavior. At the end, all students receive a certificate at a graduation ceremony.
Operation 15 Youth Engagement – Offers an exciting summer experience for a select number of SCCPSS 14 to 15-year-old students. The program uses a Military Science model and the cadets are given the basic building blocks of knowledge to establish a solid foundation in Law Enforcement and Fire Safety through hands on activities, CPR and First Aid training, Physical Fitness, and discussions with community and state leaders.
The B.O.E.P.D. Crime Prevention Vehicle has been out on the streets in different communities for a couple of months now and officers have noticed it not only draws attention from children but from adults as well. Sometimes a smile, sometimes a thumbs up – the officers enjoy seeing faces light up and look forward to using the vehicle to tell the department's story at parades and other community events in the future.
It is not a new vehicle but one previously purchased. Each Campus Police vehicle is budgeted approximately $3000 to outfit it for use within the department, including striping. In this case, approximately $1800 was budgeted for the wrap instead of striping to allow the vehicle to be used to represent the department throughout the community.