Children taught about drug abuse

2019-05-21 06:01
Officer Randall Huyser demonstrating how police dogs “attack” a suspect. PHOTO: SIPHESIHLE NOTWABAZA

Officer Randall Huyser demonstrating how police dogs “attack” a suspect. PHOTO: SIPHESIHLE NOTWABAZA

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Rio Grande Primary School learners had an opportunity to “study” outside their classrooms when Metro Police officers staged a drug awareness show on the school grounds last Wednesday.

Dubbed as an event to teach that “prevention is better than cure”, Metro Police officer Randall, Huyser from the K9 unit, appealed to the learners to study and show good behaviour.

Huyser also urged them to never involve themselves with drugs.

Mayco member for safety and security JP Smith, teachers and the police joined the officers for the initiative.

The demonstration, where imitational drugs were hidden, was performed with five dogs, Shadow, Flynn, Jackson, Spartan and Zorro. Each dog had to search for different types of drugs hidden in parking cones. Jackson, who specialises in searching for copper, had learners cheering when he found it in one of the cones.

Huyser explained to the learners that a dog needs to be obedient to be able to perform its tasks of searching for drugs and to also apprehend suspects.

“We train the dogs to listen. At certain times, a dog needs to work on its own, like you do your own homework,” he told them.

After the show, Smith thanked the teachers and the learners for welcoming them to their school and told them they must feel free to report any crimes to the police.

“In high schools, the message changes a bit. You will notice that the language we used here is fairly simple, we are speaking to kids who do not have drug habits and who do not have gang affiliations,” he shared.

Huyser said as the City they are starting to make children understand that gangsters are not their friends and they should be careful because gang members are like wolves covered in sheep skin.

School principal Brenda Manuel said she was excited on her learners’ behalf “for this eye-opening show”. She said they were at an age where they were vulnerable and also exposed to drugs.

Manuel said the school was chosen “because it is exposed to a lot of criminal activities such as gang shootings and drugs so it does need an awareness like this.”

Melvina Jones (11) and Shaunwin Sense (12) both in Grade 6 said they enjoyed the show. They thanked the officers for entertaining them while spreading an important message of staying away from drugs. “I learned how dogs search for drugs and help the community to stop violence,” said Melvina. She said her wish was for her community to be crime and violence free.

“I learned about how the police help our communities and I also learned about the job dogs do,” said Shaunwin.

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