Wilmington Chief of Police Robert J. Tracy today announced the launch of a new community initiative designed to build on the relationships that police officers have with youth in Wilmington. The “Cops and Kids After School” initiative will be piloted at Warner Elementary School through the leadership of Corporal Semaja Banks, who has been assigned to the patrol district that includes the school since graduating from the Wilmington Police Academy.
Mayor Mike Purzycki today congratulated the Chief and Corporal Banks for an initiative that was inspired by conversations between Cpl. Banks and Dr. Terrance Newton, who served as Warner’s principal prior to his death earlier this year.
“I cannot think of a more fitting tribute to Dr. Newton’s legacy than following through on a police-community initiative that he was passionate about launching,” said Chief Robert J. Tracy. “Our officers continue to build strong relationships with Wilmingtonians of all ages, and we look forward to seeing this program grow.”
This 10-week program will include meetings with police officers and fifth graders attending Warner Elementary School each week, with physical fitness activities – including push-ups, sit-ups, and light calisthenics – as well as various training and learning sessions. Topics will include:
- Conflict resolution
- Crime scene investigation
- Drug awareness
- First aid
- Canine Unit operations
- Criminal investigations
- Explosive and bomb investigations
- Hostage Negotiation and Crisis Management
- Arson and fire safety
- Internet safety
Each week, police officers from various WPD divisions and units will join the students and share information about their work. They will also work with St. Francis EMS for first aid lessons and the Wilmington Fire Department for an arson and fire safety session.
“It is an honor to incorporate ‘Cops and Kids’ in the Warner After-School Program. I cannot think of a better way to build positive relationships and reiterate to students that law enforcement officers are here for our protection,” said Warner Elementary Principal Kimberly G. Bruinton. “By exposing them to various departments and opportunities, the hope is that our students will learn to respect the community workers in the police department, as well as the services offered, and even one day serve within their own community. What a wonderful way to honor Dr. Newton and his legacy at Warner.”