St. Pete Police try showing students what it's like to be an officer

Forum aims to improve relations with teens
Posted at 5:46 PM, Mar 08, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-08 17:46:34-05

Some high schoolers got to step, figuratively, into the shoes of St. Pete Police officers today, taking part in several simulations where they pretended to get pulled over, and be pulled over. They also dealt with issues involving guns and drugs.

The assembly at St. Petersburg High School was part of a new effort to give teenagers a better understanding for the challenges of being in law enforcement.

The forum was hosted by the National Organization Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE), along with the St. Petersburg Police Department and the St. Petersburg High School Student Government Association titled, "Police and Community: Of One Mind-Together We Make a Difference".

"Our student government president actually reached out to me and said, I think we need this," explains St. Pete Police Officer Richard Berthelot, who, for 16 years, has been St .Petersburg High School's school resource officer.

"Being in an officer's shoes is such a great teaching tool," says Officer Berthelot. "There's a lot of stuff people don't think we do or have to deal with and dealing with people who are simply not following directions."

Officer Berthelot believes the simulation portion of the forum was so helpful that he hopes St. Pete Police will incorporate it into future community-wide events.



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