|Published:||Oct 16, 2013 7:04 PM EDT|
|Updated:||Oct 16, 2013 7:04 PM EDT|
FORT MYERS, Fla.- Some retired law enforcement officers are continuing to serve and protect, even after they turned in their badges.
They're known as 'GRAMPA COPS' and they have new roles in elementary schools across Fort Myers.
The kids at Orangewood Elementary school know her as 'Officer Jacqui' but she's not in uniform, she's a 'GRAMPA COP' or maybe grandma cop in this case. She says, "I was a police officer in New York and I worked there for 17 years and that's when the twin towers came down, and it was time to leave and when I came to Florida I didn't really want to go into full law enforcement but when I saw the 'GRAMPA COP' program in the school, that interested me."
The program stands for Getting Retireees Actively Motivated to Policing Again, and that's just what it does for Jacqui Rivera. She says, "the kids. it's all about the kids, it keeps me young."
She spends her days interacting with students, but now has a new role as part of the Junior KOPS program, teaching kids interactive safety lessons once a month after school.
Student Mason Hahn says,"it's pretty fun, we learn about being a cop and stuff." Dylan McMillion says he learned "don't talk to strangers and everybody should be treated equally."
Youth Relations Officer Athena Mitchell runs the after school Junior KOPS program and says the 'GRAMPA COPS' presence is invaluable.
She says, "the kids grow up with them, it's just one more resource the kids have, one more person they can turn to when they need help."
Rivera says, "we're here for them, the repport we have with them before they get to middle school, before they get into bullying and drugs and peer pressure so we try to set an example for them here first."
Five Fort Myers elementary schools have 'GRAMPA COPS' on campus.
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