Cops on school beat in Cairns
PUTTING a foot wrong may earn you a little more than a detention at two Cairns high schools this year.
Acting Senior Constable Christie McKinnon and Constable Cherie Giles have dusted off the books and headed back to the classroom as part of a the State Government's School Based Policing Program.
Theofficers have been based full-time at Bentley Park College and Trinity Bay State High respectively, although both are attached to the Cairns police's Child Protection and Investigation Unit.
Sen-Constable McKinnon said she met weekly with the school's counsellors and youth workers, and was starting to build strong relationships with students.
"We discuss the children who are disengaging with the school system or might be having issues at home," she said.
"I've had requests from staff about coming and speaking with their classes about particular subjects they may be taking.
"There are some brilliant kids here; I walk around each lunch break and they always come up and talk to me about how I got to where I am and hopefully I'll build relationships with kids who would not normally have a great opinion of police."
She and Constable Giles are among 15 officers state-wide working at schools.
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School's in: Christie McKinnon with Miah Donnelly (left) and Gibson Ango. Picture: TOM LEE