Lincoln Elementary fourth graders are getting a look at different career paths this week, including law enforcement.
In addition to information about the profession in general, officers answered questions about the education requirements, salaries and hours that went along with it. Students also got to see some of the equipment used by SWAT teams and ask whatever questions they had. Sgt. Brice Woolly said he thought the visit went well.
“It gives them a way to see what they’d have to do to do what someone else has done,” Woolly said.
Woolly’s wife Melissa is the director of Heroes with Hope, an organization that helps area schools. He said the organization makes it a point to meet with groups of students to answer questions.   
“Hopefully we’ve said something to them that would kind of change their perspective,” Woolly said. “I’m a person just like anybody else. If you saw me in jeans and a T-shirt with my family, you wouldn’t know I was a police officer.”
Students asked questions about the challenges the officers face, what made them want to be officers in the first place and whether or not they’d ever had to shoot anybody. Woolly said he tries to take the more blunt questions in stride.
“They’re at that age where they’re trying to figure it out,” he said. “So we kind of expect those tough questions. There’s extreme honesty, you never know what to expect.”
Cpl. Juan Galicia addressed the group about his job in investigations, something students would naturally be less familiar with.
“I’ve talked to kids before but it was just over being a police officer,” Galicia said. “We went into more detail this time.”
He said some of the students’ questions managed to surprise him, but in a good way. One student asked if Galicia had ever made any mistakes with serious consequences. Others asked if someone in the officers’ lives inspired them to become a police officer.
“The typical questions we get are ‘Have you ever shot anybody? Have you ever tazed anybody? Have you ever chased anybody?,” Galicia said. “Kids have a tendency to think that’s all we do.”