OTRT Youth Program Coordinator Sam, with Tee, Talihya, Josh, Senior Constable Thompson, Aaron and Bailey.
Eighteen weeks into their 21 week program, the On The Right Track (OTRT) kids headed out to the Nerang Police Station to meet with Senior Constable Thompson to give up their time to help improve the safety of the community.
The morning started with a tour of the police station, seeing where fingerprints are collected and the station's lock up. The kids were also able to experience the feeling of being handcuffed.
The objective for this part of the morning was to challenge the negative stigmas surrounding police officers, and to see them as protectors of the community.
From here, OTRT and Senior Constable Thompson headed to Pacific Pines Shopping Centre to fit anti-theft one way screws to community members' number plates, free of charge. These number plates prevent criminals stealing registration plates off cars, basically damaging the plate from incorrect removal. The design requires a unique tool to remove them.
A hands on experience, this was the first time some of the kids have ever used screwdrivers.
After lunch, the kids headed to Helensvale Shopping Centre where they continued working with Senior Constable Thompson, this time they were put to task to identify cars that would be targeted by robbery and leave a small notice on their windshield.
This initiative referred to as Lock it or Lose it, reminds people to keep their vehicles locked and secure valuable such as bags and phones away from plain sight. Some of the kids were approached by community onlookers who were curious as to why the kids were looking into cars, thankfully Senior Constable Thompson was there to explain the good work the kids were doing.
During the de-brief of the day, one of the kids expressed that the opportunity created a sense of responsibility and purpose to the community. Adding that he was doing Justice as a subject at school.
It is these opportunities that create lasting impressions for the kids taking part in the On The Right Track Program, something we hope they take through their teenage years.