'These kids are brave': Students help officers keep school zones safe

Students and police officers work to keep school zones safe. They ask drivers to stay alert. (SBG photo) 

PORTLAND, Ore. – As kids in Portland Public Schools returned to the classroom Wednesday morning, police were out with extra patrols keeping school zones safe.

Soon, they’ll get a little extra help from students volunteering for safety patrol.

Fifth grade students in the Safety Patrol Program run crosswalks outside their schools with special training from school resource officers.

“We teach them techniques such as look at the driver instead of the car. Notice if the driver is looking at you, don’t' just look at the front bumper,” said Officer Tommy Stoffel from the Portland Police Bureau.

Stoffel said he’s impressed by the responsibility the kids take on at such a young age.

“These kids are brave. They're very aware of what they're doing and they're aware of the value of helping kids safely get to school. It’s something special to see,” Stoffel said.

Portland police will also step up their patrols in school zones during the first week of classes. They asked drivers to obey speed limits, watch for kids and avoid distractions while driving.

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