Kids visit San Diego Police Department to create stronger bond

Posted at 6:33 PM, Aug 10, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-10 21:33:15-04

About 40 kids in City Heights got to experience what a police officer does on Wednesday.

"I think [the officers] are really, really wonderful to keep us safe from any crime," said one student.

Children as young as 5 years old gathered at San Diego Police Department's City Heights subdivision to create a stronger bond with police. The kids are part of the 'Readers in the Heights' pilot program in City Heights. It's a program to keep kids reading and active while they're out of school.

Each child got to pick out two books, color bookmarks and try their hand at fingerprinting. Kids fingerprinted some of San Diego's finest, like Officer Joshua Hodge. The children also got to check out a SWAT Humvee. Officer Holmes let the kids wear vests.

"I'd like to be a police [officer] who saves a lot of people," said one student.

The event truly inspired a lot of youngsters, as much as it did the officers.

"When I look into their eyes, I see myself. I see a very similar community I grew up in," said Detective Sergeant Adrian Lee.

Lee says in light of the recent death of one of their own, this kind of thing can be therapeutic.

"The loss of JD devastates our whole department. This can make us heal a little bit," he said.

United Way of San Diego County helped organize this event. They're hoping to do another field trip next year with even more kids.