NewLogoSROOfficers with the Benton Police Department will be participating in a new #KidsFirst Initiative starting in June and going throughout the summertime.  The #KidsFirst Initiative will be a community-orientate policing program geared towards positive policing actions and activities with children in the community.  
Officers will be tasked with taking time out of their regular patrol duties to stop and interact with children in parks and neighborhoods as time permits.  The focus will be getting officers out of their cars and active in building rapport with children through direct interaction with them.  
As a part of this initiative, we will be hosting events and conducting activities that center on kids in the community. Starting on June 15th, the School Resource Officers will be hosting the 5th Annual Junior Police Academy program. This is a two week program that gives teenagers a glimpse into what being a law enforcement officer entails in addition to some fun activities.  
On June 18th, officers will be hosting the “Hooked on Fishing Derby” at Sunset Lake.  This is an event where officers donate their time to help teach children how to fish and award them with prizes in various categories.  The fishing derby is held in conjunction with the Boy’s and Girl’s Club of Saline County.  
For the first time in 11 years, the Benton Police Department will once again have a bicycle patrol. The School Resource Officers, along with some patrol officers, will be saddling up on mountain bikes this summer and hitting neighborhoods and parks.  They will focus on interacting with children and also hitting high crime areas to be a visible deterrent and catch criminal activity in the act.  
As part of the #KidsFirst Initiative, we will be hosting the first ever Operation Ice Cream Blitz for children.  Although we can’t reveal details of the program, the name helps provide a glimpse into what it will entail and more information will be forthcoming later. 
Although officers will be out visiting with children they see throughout the community, individuals are always welcome to request an officer stop by events or gatherings they may be having.  We can always be reached at 501-778-1171 to request an officer or use our official Benton Police Department app found on the Apple or Android stores to contact us.