LOCAL

Gonzales Police officers make the day special for local Girl Scouts

Staff Writer
Gonzales Weekly Citizen

On Aug. 30, officers with the City of Gonzales Police Department found out that local Girl Scout Troop 10166 would be using the training room at the police station to begin holding their monthly meetings. The girls, all first graders and Daisy Scouts, would be receiving badges for respecting authority, courage and strength, so Officers Jimmie Dunaway, Anthony Cantrelle, Tyson Dennis Duane Carpenter and Corporal David Breaux did what our City of Gonzales Police Department team does so well. They turned the girls’ meeting into quite an event.

Officer Dennis began the occasion by talking to the girls about what it is police officers do. He spoke of the importance of parents not using law enforcement as a threat when scolding or punishing a child, but rather talking to children about how important police officers are and what their role is within a community.

“It’s one of the biggest complaints the police has,” Dennis said. “When parents say things to their kids like, ‘you’d better stop that or the cops will come and get you,’ it gives children a negative mindset about who we are and what we’re actually there for. We want children to know that we’re the good guys. We’re the ones that help. They must feel safe knowing they can come to us with anything. To have parents refer to us as something scary doesn’t make children feel secure. That’s something I feel all law enforcement officers would like to see changed.”

Once the talk was given, the officers did what they always do so well, which is going above and beyond for the youth in our community.

Officer Jimmie Dunaway was first up, treating the little ladies to a motorcycle demonstration. His turns and spins elicited giggles and shrieks of delight from the girls.

“You’re awesome,” was heard shouted out from one of the little Daisies.

“We love when kids come by the station to visit,” Dunaway said. “It’s always such a happy moment to see them so fascinated by what we do. Who knows, we might have the next generation of the City of Gonzales Police Department right there, so why not make what we do special for them? It’s also a way to keep us involved in the community with a genuine, positive presence.”

Officers Duane Carpenter and Anthony Cantrelle, along with Corporal David Breaux, then had the Girl Scouts line up and allowed them to go through the backseat of one of the City of Gonzales Police Department patrol units. The children were in awe of how secure the space was for when a criminal or suspect needed to be transported.

“They can’t get out of there!” said Girl Scout Camilla Del Bosque. “That was super safe. It’s small back there, though. I’m never going to have to be in there! If people just did the right thing, they wouldn’t have to go in there either.”

Troop leader Michelle Cornett, whose daughter Claire is one of the troop, was thrilled that the officers took such care and time with the Daisy Troop.

“The City of Gonzales Police Department went above and beyond anything we expected. Our co-leader, Lindsey Del Bosque simply asked if the space could be used for our meetings, and we had no idea that the police officers would be so generous and so much fun with our girls,” she said. “Simply saying thank you doesn’t seem to come close to what we feel for the dedication of these officers.”

“We are still in awe of the five members of the Gonzales Police Department who truly made the day for our little Daisies,” said co-leader Lindsey Del Bosque. “I’m fortunate to have friends who work for the department, so reaching out and asking if the space could be utilized for our monthly meetings and hearing a yes was all I was hoping for. But this, what those officers did, was never an expectation. That meant so much to our girls and to us as parents. The entire City of Gonzales Police Department is amazing!”

The training room at the City of Gonzales Police Department is available for use free of charge to civic organizations. For more information about booking the space, contact Chief Sherman Jackson’s Secretary, Stephanie Bercegeay, by emailing sabercegeay@gonzalespd.org.