Erie’s police and fire departments hit the road on Wednesday afternoon, reaching out to improve diversity.
Almost 100 kids were able to speak with Erie police and firefighters to see what a day in the life would be like.
“I’ll try to be police officer, but if that doesn’t work out then I’ll probably just work for a business or something,” said Malia Outlaw, a participant.
Kids such as Malia are hoping to be a police officer when she grows up thanks to the help of the Police Athletic League also known as P.A.L.
This program is aimed to bridge the pathway for kids to learn more about police work. This event on May 26th focuses on outreach to kids in minority groups.
“I think its a great deal concerning this day in age that we are currently in. Its always nice to see people of minorities come in, appreciate police, give us thanks, and give thanks back because they help us a lot and they know we help them,” said Anastacia Stewark, Erie Police Officer.
Kids in the community were also able to learn what life in the day of being a firefighter would look like.
“The fire department came and I got to check the inside of the bus of it,” said Yara Aladwan.
“We let the kids go through the fire truck. They can sit in the back where we are. They can see a lot of the tools that we use. We will bring some tools out and let them handle some things, show them how heavy our gear and actual equipment is,” said Trevor Doust, PR Director of Erie Firefighter Local 293.
Events like this one are great for kids especially those in minority groups.
“Minorities often in the past have had no relationships with the police at all. These kids have built great relationships with the police,” said Mayor Joe Schember
Leonard Trott, Assistant Chief of the Erie Fire Department, said that it is a good impact when the kids know the fire department is here to help.
“If you get them inspired as a child to want to be a fireman and it’s something they can do, it goes a long way and hopefully sticks with them,” said Leonard Trott, Assistant Chief for the Erie Fire Department.
“My favorite part of the day was meeting new people and hanging out with others,” said Hala Al-Adwan.
The next PAL event is on June 16th. There will be more events like this one later on this year that attempt to make good relationships with the community and more outreach to kids in minority groups.