Meanwhile, over at the Ellinwood Elementary School, students were enjoying a break from the usual P.E. program. Friday, members of the Fraternal Order of Police, Lodge 23, met in the gym for several friendly rounds of dodge ball.
“Officer Harlow!,” said one student as his class arrived at the gymnasium. “I see him right away.” His classmates squealed with excitement. As the previous class filed out, the new one filed in where off-duty officers dressed in shorts and F.O.P. t-shirts caught their breath and prepared for the next wave of ball throwing.
The F.O.P. reaches out to students in all of the schools in the lodge service area, connecting with kids and showing them that police officers are people like them, who enjoy having fun and playing hard. This is the fourth year they’ve been meeting for dodgeball matches, starting in Hoisington in 2011.
Matches included some with police versus students, and others with a mix of both on each side. By the time they were done, kids and cops alike had two things in common. They were out of breath, and they all wore smiles.