AUBURN, Mass. – If elementary students got to sit in a police car and tour a SWAT tank every day, then they might want to be in school for 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Just ask the children at Auburn's Bryn Mawr Elementary School, who spent Monday morning learning about town vehicles on Community Day.
Several town employees brought massive trucks and other vehicles to the school on Monday for kindergartners to check out. First- and second-grade students also got to see the vehicles but for a much briefer walk-through.
“It’s a real fun day for the kids. They get to see every vehicle that the town gets to use, and what boy or girl doesn’t like big trucks and police cars,” said Steve DuHamel, head custodian at Bryn Mawr, who organizes the event.
There were vehicles from the Auburn Public Works Highway Division, Auburn Water District, Auburn Police Department and the Central Massachusetts Law Enforcement SWAT Team.
Brian Kennedy, the school resource police officer, showed the kids why it’s bad to be in the back of a police cruiser.
“They sit back there on the plastic seats and say ‘Wow! This isn’t comfortable,’ ” Kennedy said. “They’re having a ball. It’s just fun interacting with the kids. It gives a human side to our job and shows we’re not just people who drive around and arrest people and give out tickets.”
The kids especially responded with oohs and aahs when they toured the brand-new, bullet-proof SWAT team vehicle. The tank, called the Bearcat, is used all around Central Massachusetts for high-risk situations. The one-month old vehicle was swarmed by the kindergartners, who asked many questions about it.
“The kids obviously get a kick out of it,” said Officer Todd Kuchnicki, one of the team leaders for the SWAT team. “It seems to be the hit of the day for them. Ultimately, we’re here for the community and want to educate the public as much as we can.”