Marcus Larson/News-Register##Yamhill-Carlton second graders and Police Chief Kevin Martinez hold up their hands, signaling it’s time to become quiet. They had been chatting happily about police and school activities.
Marcus Larson/News-Register##Yamhill-Carlton second graders and Police Chief Kevin Martinez hold up their hands, signaling it’s time to become quiet. They had been chatting happily about police and school activities.
Marcus Larson/News-Register##Carlton Police Chief Kevin Martinez plays basketball with students during his visit to Yamhill-Carlton Elementary School. Martinez and Officer Jake Blair had lunch at the school, then played with kids on Thursday.
Marcus Larson/News-Register##Carlton Police Chief Kevin Martinez plays basketball with students during his visit to Yamhill-Carlton Elementary School. Martinez and Officer Jake Blair had lunch at the school, then played with kids on Thursday.
By Starla Pointer • Staff Writer • 

Officers spend lunch hour with students

CARLTON — Yamhill-Carlton Elementary School students look forward to recess, especially when they’re joined by playmates in badges and dark blue uniforms.

Members of the Carlton Police Department visit school often for lunch and a little exercise. Officer Jake Blair stood in line with kids next to the wall ball court just after noon Thursday.

“You can go next,” a boy said, offering Blair the big rubber playball. “That’s OK. I’ll wait my turn,” the officer responded.

Blair and the other officers are more than simply playground friends. They demonstrate responsibility, empathy and other positive traits, Principal Lauren Berg said.

Having the officers in blue at school is especially good for the boys, she said. The school has only one male teacher and a few male members of the support staff, so she welcomes more male role models.

Blair and Chief Kevin Martinez said they want students to see police officers in a positive way. That will help them become the kind of citizens who’ll work with police to prevent problems in the future.

Both boys and girls said they enjoy having the police visit school. “I know every single officer,” Lucas Partin said proudly.

Lucas has been to the police department’s quarterly community meetings, too. “I like it there and when they’re here, too,” he said.

Kaylee Sitton agreed. “It’s fun when they come visit,” said Kaylee, who also looks forward to the police department’s National Night Out.

Before recess, Blair and Chief Kevin Martinez went through the lunch line, then carried their salad and pizza into the cafeteria. “Sit here! Sit here!” the students called out.

The men chatted with the students, discussing sports and music and police work. Blair handed out Junior Carlton Police badge stickers, thrilling his new friends.

As lunch drew to a close, Martinez addressed all the youngsters in the cafeteria. “How many of you want to be police officers?” he asked.

Almost every student raised a hand. A few kids raised both.

Comments

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