A Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) helicopter made a special visit to a local middle school on Friday.

Students at Westlake Middle School got to see a PSP helicopter up close and met members of the state police on Friday.

It’s part of an outreach initiative to build connections between students and police.

The principal of Westlake said one of the school’s security officers is a retired state trooper. She said it was his idea to have the helicopter visit the school.

“He contacted some friends to see if they’d be interested and be willing to bring their helicopter here. It’s a special treat for our 8th grade students. So we are learning about safety, security, which goes along with our whole theme of safety and security, so they are able to answer all kinds of questions for the students,” said Shannon Patton, principal, Westlake Middle School.

Students were also able to learn more about what it takes to be a police officer.