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"Are There Zombies In Cleveland?"

"What if someone has a bigger gun than you do? What do you do then?"

"Have better aim."

The second graders at the Books & Badges​ event at Cedarwood Elementary School had some challenging questions today for the Columbus Division of Police​ officers who read to their classes. That one was directed at 13 Precinct patrol officer Heidi Graber and had us chuckling.

But the really tough questions were directed at Zone 2 Commander Dave Hughes. He got a few easy ones about SWAT and homicide that he was able to direct to Community Liaison Officer Tim Mounts, who's done both jobs in his career. But then the kids went CIA-level interrogation on him:

"Why do people think there are aliens at Area 51?"

"What is your favorite donut?"

"Why is the police station open 24 hours a day?"

"What do you do when you have someone who has a black belt that wants to fight you?"

"Well," responded Cmdr Hughes, "we are trained on ground fighting, but usually when we have a ninja who wants to fight us, we use our mace or our Taser."

"Are there zombies in Cleveland?"

"I think there are. And I think they play football," he replied.

Cmdr Hughes stayed and spoke to his class for a long time. At the end, the kids all clamored for his autograph in their books, prompting one girl to say, "I got my book signed by a police officer! Yay!!"

Their teacher told us, "I've never seen them so engaged. They're usually a pretty squirrely class." We were thrilled to hear this and thrilled to hear that so many kids in the class want to be police officers themselves when they grow up.

Since Starfish and CPD are having so many Books & Badges events, we've created a separate Facebook page for it. We'll still post occasional Books & Badges updates here on the Starfish blog, but we have eight more events scheduled for this month alone, and this is just the pilot program--we haven't rolled it out Division-wide yet! We think it's pretty special and should have its own page. We hope you agree by giving it a "like" if you're on Facebook.

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