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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

County sheriff visits with kindergartners

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Clay County Sheriff Mike Heaton shows his vehicle and other supplies to students in Joyce Hewitt's kindergarten class at Cornerstone Christian Academy. [Order this photo]
Safety was the topic Joyce Hewitt's kindergarten class at Cornerstone Christian Academy Thursday afternoon.

Clay County Sheriff Mike Heaton took time out of the budget hearings to visit.

"It was hard trying to explain my job to kindergarteners after sitting in meetings with adults talking about numbers," Heaton told The Brazil Times.

"I just didn't want to bore them."

Heaton explained to the students how people in the county voted him into office, that property taxes are how the local law enforcement is paid and all the responsibilities that he has as Sheriff.

Speaking to students is one of the perks of Heaton's job.

"I really do love talking to the kids, the things they say never cease to amaze me," Heaton said.

"Children need to have it reaffirmed that it is OK to talk to an officer and they will help them."

Heaton explained to students how the different colors of an officers uniform represents different law enforcement divisions and about the two K-9 Officers, Forrest and Dayk find drugs or lost people.

"Children need to know that the dogs are officers and that they work just as hard as the other officers on the department," Heaton said.

Students looked at handcuffs, crawled through the sheriff's vehicles, and some even tried on the bulletproof vest.

Their favorite part of the afternoon was when the lights and siren were turned on.

The sheriff passed out pencils that change colors, coloring books, cups that change colors when cold and an air freshener for parents that have the sheriff's department number on it.

Heaton also made the students honorary junior deputies as long as they were "good students and listened to their teacher and parents."

However the most important message for Heaton was keeping the kids safe by educating them on what to do if there is an emergency.

"Children need to know their phone number, address and how to call 911 if there is an emergency," Heaton said.

"Not to talk to a stranger or go anywhere with someone if you don't know them.

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Look at the close attention all the kids are paying to sheriff heaton. This is part of the reason why we have the best department. They pay close attention to the kids and public.

-- Posted by BigCB20 on Fri, Sep 5, 2008, at 3:37 PM

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