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Kids meet community helpers

Preschool students at Clanton First Baptist’s Weekday Education program were introduced to some of Clanton’s finest Monday morning, including a four-legged friend with a badge.

Clanton Police Chief Brian Stilwell, along with K-9 Officer Ronald Giles and drug dog Winnie, demonstrated police techniques and equipment for the kids.

“We’re here to help keep you and your home safe,” Stilwell told the 50-plus kids in attendance.

The children got to pet Winnie, climb through the back of a police car, and even wear their own honorary police badges.

The program is part of Community Helpers Week, observed annually by the preschool in order to familiarize the kids with public safety officials.

“Yearly we do Community Helpers Week so we can teach children that firefighters, police officers and ambulance drivers are their friends,” said preschool director Mary Mell Smith. “We don’t want children to be afraid of people in uniform.”

Each day of the week features a different public safety official.

On Tuesday morning, the preschoolers will visit Clanton Fire Department and learn about fire safety the firefighters, Smith said.