Even though children are encouraged to collect these cards, there are a few guidelines that they need to follow to be safe while doing so.
These guidelines include:
Do: Trade cards with your friends and classmates to try and complete your set.
Do: Look for officers while they are on patrol, wave to them, they might stop if they are not busy and children can ask them for a card.
Do: Ask officers for cards when you see them at school.
Do: Write to a specific officer at the GBPD and ask for a card to be delivered to your residence or school. They might even write the children back. The address to the GBPD is 1217 Williams St. Great Bend, KS 67530.
Don’t: Ask an officer if they are busy with a car stop or conducting any kind of investigation, or look like they are busy.
Don’t: Run into the street to get a card. Wave to the officer, if they see you and are not busy, they will try and get you a card.
Don’t: Forget to have a great time collecting the cards.
Collecting trading cards has been a past time for children of all ages for a long time, but the Great Bend Police Department has put a new spin on collecting trading cards for children of the community.
These trading cards picture the officers on them and children of the community are encouraged to talk to officers when they see them and try and collect all the cards.
“I think this program is cool,” Officer Heather McLemore said. “It is great for the community and a positive thing is always good.”
The program challenges children of all ages to collect a complete set of Great Bend Police Department trading cards.
“The program is designed to be an outreach to the community,” CPL Jefferson Davis said. “This program is one more step to reach the community in a positive work relationship.”
The set of cards includes all 21 police officers assigned to patrol, the detective K9 officer, a Special Service Team card, a DARE card, a police vehicle fleet card, the K9’s, a bike patrol unit card and a Chief of Police card. The complete set of cards is a total of 32 different ones to collect.
The trading card contest is designed to help officers break the ice when talking to children, and the cards encourage children to interact with the officer
“I believe that it is important for the youth of the community to feel comfortable enough to come into the police department or contact any officer if they need help,” Police Chief Cliff Couch said. “The challenge provides the opportunity for the children to have a positive experience with the officers and for them to realize that we are regular people, just like their families.”
Posters of the complete set will be on display in all of the local elementary schools and the Great Bend Middle School. In addition, the posters will be placed in many local businesses for display.
Children can go to the police station and pick up a small “flyer” style poster from the Records Division.
Children can check the status of their collection by comparing it to one of the posters.
The first 30 children that bring in a complete set of the trading cards will be awarded a free medium pizza from Gambino’s Pizza in Great Bend.
In addition, all children who complete the set will be awarded a certificate of achievement from The Great Bend Police Department with some pencils for school.
“The Great Bend Police Department believes that the trading card program will be a home run for our department in terms of reaching the young people in our community,” Couch said. “Officers can be approached at the schools, in our community, during public functions and while on patrol. We have made it mandatory that each officer carry their trading cards while on duty.”
The program is designed to run indefinitely for future generations. That way they can have fun collecting the cards and maybe even trade them with their older siblings.
The project started as the result of a call from a citizen who was wondering if the police department still had Kansas City Royals and Chiefs cards that were offered to juveniles that officers had come into contact with.
Several years ago the Great Bend Police Department had success with that project and it was decided to look at it again. After initially making trading cards for the K9’s, Kia and Lazer, the department saw the overwhelming response from the youth and thought that by expanding the project they could further the bonds between the two.