SHERBURN - At first glimpse, it looks like every parent's nightmare: Every type of police vehicle imaginable was in front of Sherburn Elementary School on Friday afternoon, lights flashing, dueling sirens.
But as you got closer, swarms of kids surrounded the vehicles, and were inside, sounding the sirens, laughing and squealing with delight.
Did the children finally take over the school? Actually, it was a more friendly interaction, as Sherburn-Welcome Police Department recognize National Law Enforcement/ Police week.
GATOR — Martin County Sheriff’s Deputy Corey Ballard lets a group of Sherburn Elementary students check out the “gator” all-terrain vehicle as part of the law enforcement vehicle display at the school Friday afternoon.
"We've seen so much of kids that are afraid to approach us," said Sherburn-Welcome Police Chief Brad Hughes. "With this, we want them to see that they can come up and talk to us, ask us questions, and see we're not the enemy."
This was the second year that Police Week was brought to the elementary school, and this year witnessed some special additions, including the landing of the Mayo One helicopter.
"Technically, it doesn't involve law enforcement, but it's still pretty exciting for the kids," Hughes said.
Before the children got to experiment with all the police vehicles, Hughes and Martin County Sheriff's Capt. Jeff Marquart told the elementary students the reason behind National Law Enforcement Week.
"During Police Week, we are honoring all the officers who have fallen; that means they were killed in the line of duty," Marquart explained to one classroom. "These are the guys we want to honor and remember."
And as it turned out, the police week gathering last year still had an effect on the kids Friday. Some asked which officers were there.
Others, meanwhile, just wanted to play with the squad car lights and sirens.
"Last year, I think we got about 70 thank-you notes from the students here afterward," Hughes said. "I think it's important to realize that they can talk to us. And the officers have fun with this too."