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Lunch links police, students
For different reasons, school age children may be frightened of police officers. In an attempt to make officers seem more friendly and less intimidating, Adkison Elementary School introduced a "Lunch with Police" program that debuted on Wednesday.

Officer Sergio Jimenez was the first to try out cafeteria food and make his rounds talking to the kids. Fourth-grader Aaron Delgado was impressed by the visitor.

"It's cool because he's a police officer," said Aaron.

"Often times, our students will witness their families, friends, or neighbors have negative interactions with the police. Our students rarely get a chance to see police officers in a positive way, and can grow up thinking that the police are bad people and not trust-worthy," said Brian Murphy, principal of Adkison Elementary School. "This is a difficult obstacle to overcome, and as our kids grow older and are faced with decisions about gangs or drugs, this fear or distrust of the police only increases the chances they'll make poor choices.

"We are hoping this idea is a start, and will have long-lasting impacts on our children and community as a whole."

The school has a standing off of a free lunch for police officers and firefighters as long as they sit down with a group of students and interact and have conversations with them.

"Our goal is to show our students and the community that the Ceres PD do a lot of great things and can be a positive resource for the community," said Murphy.