CRESTVIEW — The pre-kindergarten kids in Lifepoint Church’s homeschooler group learned about their community police force during a recent field trip to the Whitehurst Municipal Building.

Ten boys and girls, under the vigilant eyes of six moms, took a tour of the Crestview Police Department, escorted by Community Services Officer Sam Kimmons. He used the opportunity to tell the kids about the importance of calling 9-1-1 during an emergency, and advised the mothers to teach their children their address.

“We’ve had situations where little kids have been able to tell the 9-1-1 dispatcher their address when their mommies or daddies were having a medical emergency, like a diabetic attack,” Kimmons told the women.

The children got a brief tour of the department’s offices on their way to the secure parking lot where they got to climb aboard the Community Services truck. A couple blasts on the siren and the flashing blue lights captivated the kids’ fleeting attention.

“Are there any red lights?” one boy asked.

“No,” Kimmons said. “Red lights mean a fire engine or an ambulance.”

After trying on a bullet-proof vest and police cap, the visitors went out front, where they got to see the agency’s rescue vehicle with wheels that dwarfed most of the kids. Investigator Shawn Temple, who spearheaded the refurbishment of the former military truck, explained how its high clearance allows it to go through floodwater to rescue people trapped in low-lying areas.

A chorus of “thank you’s” followed the hour-long visit as the kids departed, each sporting a shiny “junior officer” stick-on badge.