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Kids and cops event aims to help children see Pekin officers as people

Children pose with their medallions at the Cops and Kids Scavenger Hunt in Coal Miner's Park in...
Children pose with their medallions at the Cops and Kids Scavenger Hunt in Coal Miner's Park in Pekin.(WEEK)
Published: Jun. 22, 2022 at 5:14 PM CDT
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PEORIA (Heart of Illinois ABC) - Kids had a chance to earn a medallion from the Pekin Police Department as a part of the second Kids and Cops event this year in Coal Miner’s Park.

Each child had to follow six separate clues to find the treasure chest filled with pins, or “medallions” for them to take home. The first 150 successful scavengers got a button. Pekin Police Public information Officer Billie Ingles said it gives kids a chance to interact with officers in calm, friendly settings.

“The kids come out and they see us as normal people,” Ingles said. “If they’re afraid of us to begin with, it just shows we’re normal people, people they can come up, they can talk to us and it allows them to get to know us.”

The events are provided for by local donations. Today, Little Ceasar’s donated pizza to feed participants. Water for the kids was provided by Illinois American water. Ingles said expenses for the events are offset by those donations ad support from the community.

Other events are planned later this summer for Kids and cops. Ingles said there will be bowling, archery and paddleboating events this summer. To wrap up, they’ll be an end-of-the-year picnic with several agencies and guest characters to meet with kids.

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