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Adopt-a-Cop

Adopt a cop mascot

 

Adopt a cop mascot

Overview

 

Purpose

The Adopt-a-Cop program was implemented in 1985 to build positive relationships between police and members of the school community through the voluntary appointment of Adopt-a-Cops to schools and other relevant organisations. Note: Members of the school community include students, staff, parents, carers, other interested community members.

The program is an integral part of policing and reflects a greater emphasis on police partnerships with the community.  Currently there are over 950 Adopt-a-Cops performing duties in over 1100 Queensland schools.

Adopt-a-Cops are police officers and Police Liaison Officers (to be referred to as ‘Adopt-a-PLOs’) who volunteer to participate in the program.  Adopt-a-Cops are generally appointed to primary and secondary schools, however may also be appointed to special schools, early childhood centres and community groups.

This program is not to be confused with the School Based Policing Program which involves the full-time appointment of police within 50 Queensland secondary schools.

Functions

Adopt-a-Cops perform a rapport-building and educational role within the school, with functions including:

(i)Delivering classroom presentations in partnership with teachers. Note: The Adopt-a-Cop is not to be used or viewed as a teacher but as a resource with specialised knowledge and skills which may be used in the school;
(ii)Delivering presentations to parents, carers, teachers and other school staff;
(iii)Attending key school events, such as fetes, swimming carnivals and/or sports days;
(iv)Addressing school parades;
(v)Coordinating QPS events and QPS representation at relevant events, e.g. under 8s day;
(vi)

Attending graduations and/or presentation nights;

(vii)

Conducting informal “drop in” visits, particularly during break times;

(viii)

Attending meetings, such as Parents and Citizens and/or Parents and Friends meetings; and

(ix)

Attending school excursions and/or camps (subject to gaining necessary prior approvals).

Adopt-a-PLOs may also provide an additional role to promote cultural awareness and celebrate cultural diversity within the school community.

Benefits

Benefits of the program include:

(i)     The enhanced safety and wellbeing of children through education;
 
(ii)     Positive attitudes of children towards police and the community;
 
(iii)     The encouragement of law abiding behaviour;
 
(iv)     Increased community satisfaction with the QPS;
 
(v)     Greater community support of the QPS; and
 
(vi)     The professional development of police officers and Police Liaison Officers.

Program components

The program is coordinated by the Community Safety and Crime Prevention Branch, who manage all components of the program on a statewide level, including:

Mascots

The program is supported by two mascots, ‘Connie’ the police horse and ‘Cluedo’ the police dog.  The mascots were developed in 2011 to better engage pre-school and primary school aged children.  A police dog and horse were chosen as these animals are actively involved in policing duties.

Adopt a cop mascot

Adopt a cop mascot


 


          

Connie and Cluedo were named through a statewide Mascot Naming Competition and feature on a range of Adopt-a-Cop educational resources.

Educational resources for children

A range of educational resources have been developed to promote the program and children’s safety messages including book label stickers, certificates, temporary tattoos, rulers and bag tags.

Further information about educational resources for children can be found here.

​Awards program

The Adopt-a-Cop of the Year Awards reward the good work performed by Adopt-a-Cops at district, regional and state-wide levels.  The awards program was launched in 2010 to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Adopt-a-Cop Program.

The nomination process commences in Term 2 of each school year and culminates with the State Awards Ceremony held during Child Protection Week, in the first week of September.

Further information about the awards program can be found here.

Database

The Adopt-a-Cop database records details of all Adopt-a-Cops and their schools. Schools are listed with a drop down list to assist i searching the schools.
The database can be found List of Schools with an Adopt-a-Cop ( List of Schools with an Adopt-a-Cop|261632|application/x-octetstring255.50K ).

Adopt-a-Cop resources

The Community Safety and Crime Prevention Branch is currently updating resources to assist Adopt-a-Cops to perform their various functions, particularly the delivery of classroom and community presentations.

To reflect current and emerging safety risks facing children and young people, the five topics to be covered by updated Adopt-a-Cop resources are:

  • Role of police
  • Keeping ourselves safe
  • Road safety
  • Cyber safety
  • Bullying

Resources currently available to Adopt-a-Cops can be found here.

Training

Standardised training will soon be provided to equip all Adopt-a-Cops with knowledge and skills to perform their role. This training is being developed by the Community Safety and Crime Prevention Branch and is expected to be launched in 2013.

Record of AAC visits

All Adopt-a-Cop activities undertaken should be recorded on the Crime Prevention Database. This database differs from the Adopt-a-Cop database, which simply records details of Adopt-a-Cops and their respective schools.

Background

Senior Constable Narelle Henderson, the District Community Liaison Officer for Fortitude Valley District, initiated the Adopt-a-Cop program when she arranged for Constable Michael Volk to be adopted by Northgate State School on 17 June 1985. Since this time the program has grown in leaps and bounds. In 1989 there were 250 Adopt-a-Cops; by 1995 this figure had doubled and currently there are almost 1000 Adopt-a-Cops performing duty in over 1100 Queensland schools.

In 1993 a project rejuvenation pilot program was conducted to introduce a more structured approach to the duties of an Adopt-a-Cop and, in 1996, five hundred blue resource kits were distributed to District Community Liaison Officers throughout the State.  The kits were designed to assist Adopt-a-Cops in delivering classroom presentations on topics including the role of police, road safety, keeping ourselves safe, safety house, and drugs and alcohol.

The Adopt-a-Cop was initially developed for pre-school and primary school children, however since this time it has expanded to also incorporate secondary and special schools.

In 2010 the Community Safety and Crime Prevention Branch commenced a comprehensive review of the program including input from a broad range of internal and external stakeholders. The review recommendations were endorsed by the Senior Executive Committee in 2012 and included the following:

  • Adopt-a-Cops should be rostered to attend their school at least one shift per month, pending operational requirements;
  • Standardised training should be provided to equip all Adopt-a-Cops with knowledge and skills to perform their role;
  • Adopt-a-Cop resources should be updated to cater for classroom presentations to early childhood, primary and secondary school students. Updated topics include: the role of police, road safety, keeping ourselves safe, cyber safety and bullying;
  • AAC activities, including classroom presentations and formal visits, should be recorded on the Crime Prevention Database;
  • Police Liaison Officers (PLOs) should be included in the program, as ‘Adopt-a-PLOs’; and
  • Key roles and responsibilities of all program stakeholders should be clearly defined and included in Service policy via the Operational Procedures Manual.

The Community Safety and Crime Prevention Branch is currently implementing each of these recommendations to ensure the program reaches its full potential.

Guidelines

These guidelines form the policy supporting the Adopt-a-Cop program, as referred to in Operational Procedures Manual s.1.7.7, and apply to all QPS Adopt-a-Cop program stakeholders.

1. Appointments
Adopt-a-Cops are police officers and Police Liaison Officers (to be referred to as ‘Adopt-a-PLOs’) who volunteer to participate in the program.  Prior to their appointment, Adopt-a-Cops and Adopt-a-PLOs must first be nominated and deemed suitable to perform this role by their officer in charge. Note: Where ‘Adopt-a-Cops’ are referred to in the subsequent policy, reference is made to both ‘Adopt-a-Cops’ and ‘Adopt-a-PLOs’.

Adopt-a-Cops are generally appointed to primary and secondary schools, however may also be appointed to special schools, early childhood centres and community groups, such as Girl Guides and Scouts, at the discretion of the officer in charge of the station where the school is located. Note:Where ‘schools’ are mentioned in the following sections, reference is made to all school sectors, (i.e. primary, secondary and special schools, early childhood centres) and community groups.

The appointment of Adopt-a-Cops to a school is at the discretion of the officer in charge of the station where the school is located and is dependent upon local operational factors.  Note: Where officer in charge of the relevant station is referred to in subsequent policy, reference is made to the officer in charge of the division where the school is located.

More than one Adopt-a-Cop may be appointed to a school when:

  1. there is more than one officer wishing to perform this role; and
  2. approval is granted by the officer in charge of the relevant station.

Adopt-a-Cops appointed to the same school will work together and with the officer in charge of the relevant station to coordinate visits and specific roles.

Each Adopt-a-Cop appointment should be formalised with an adoption ceremony.

All Adopt-a-Cops should undertake Adopt-a-Cop training prior to, or as soon as practically possible, following their appointment to a school.  Refresher training should be undertaken by Adopt-a-Cops every three years.

2. Functions
Adopt-a-Cops perform a rapport-building and educational role within the school, with functions including:

(i)

Delivering classroom presentations in partnership with teachers. Note: The Adopt-a-Cop is not to be used or viewed as a teacher but as a resource with specialised knowledge and skills which may be used in the school;

(ii)Delivering presentations to parents, carers, teachers and other school staff;
(iii)Attending key school events, such as fetes, swimming carnivals and/or sports days;
(iv)Addressing school parades;
(v)Coordinating QPS events and QPS representation at relevant events, e.g. under 8s day;
(vi)Attending graduations and/or presentation nights;
(vii)Conducting informal “drop in” visits, particularly during break times;
(viii)Attending meetings, such as Parents and Citizens and/or Parents and Friends meetings; and
(ix)Attending school excursions and/or camps (subject to gaining necessary prior approvals

  

Adopt-a-PLOs may also provide an additional role to promote cultural awareness and celebrate cultural diversity within the school community.

The Adopt-a-Cop will have access to a resource kit to assist with the performance of these functions.  The resource kit will include materials to assist with classroom and community presentations including lessons, PowerPoint presentations and worksheets.

A number of policing roles are not considered to be Adopt-a-Cop functions, including: 

  • Investigating offences;
  • Cautioning juvenile offenders;
  • Any other operational or reactive policing role; and
  • Conducting security assessments of the school premises.

Adopt-a-Cops may perform the above roles in the context of their operational position within the local Division, if relevant, or seek the assistance of other QPS units as required.

3. Rostering

Adopt-a-Cops should be rostered to attend their school at least one shift per month or as negotiated between the school principal, their officer in charge and the Adopt-a-Cop, pending operational requirements.  For Adopt-a-Cops in non-operational positions, or in positions where this can be accommodated, rostered duty of four hours per fortnight is encouraged as an alternative rostering arrangement.

In order to maintain an ‘Active Adopt-a-Cop’ status, Adopt-a-Cops are required to attend their school at least four times per school year, preferably with at least one visit per school term.

Adopt-a-Cops should not be expected to attend to Adopt-a-Cop duties in their own time. 

Adopt-a-Cops may choose to attend to Adopt-a-Cop duties in their own time, on occasion, but only with the prior approval of their supervising officer in charge.

4. Planning of visits

Adopt-a-Cops should plan their visits in conjunction with their supervisor and the school principal, or other relevant school representative, at the commencement of the school year; or as otherwise agreed, to ensure maximum program effectiveness.  Adopt-a-Cop visits should be based on the suggested rostering of one shift per four week roster period or four hours per fortnight, where this can be accommodated.

Planning should include:

(i) attendance at key school events;
(ii)topics, target audiences and approximate timeframes for classroom presentations; and
(iii)procedures regarding informal visits.
                                               

This plan should be reviewed at the commencement of each school term, or at the conclusion of the preceding school term, in order to finalise dates, times and other arrangements for classroom presentations and other key activities.

Adopt-a-Cop activities undertaken should be recorded on the Crime Prevention Database.

5. Roles and responsibilities of program stakeholders

5.1   

Officers in charge of stations, or their delegate, should:

(i)select and appoint suitable police officers or PLOs as Adopt-a-Cops to schools within their division that are desirous of participating in the Adopt-a-Cop program, as operational requirements allow. Note:Adopt-a-Cops may be stationed outside of the police division, district or region the school is located, such as police or PLOs who are parents of children attending the school.  These members should express their interest in becoming an Adopt-a-Cop with the officer in charge of the relevant station after gaining the prior approval of their own officer in charge;
(ii)meet with the school principal, or other relevant school representative, and the selected/interested Adopt-a-Cop to discuss the Adopt-a-Cop role;
(iii) advise the District Crime Prevention Coordinator of any new adoptions or amended adoption details for Adopt-a-Cop Database input;
(iv)invite the District Crime Prevention Coordinator to attend Adopt-a-Cop adoption ceremonies within the division;
(v)attend and participate in adoption ceremonies of Adopt-a-Cops within the division and sign Certificates of Adoption; and
(vi) review the Adopt-a-Cop arrangement approximately six months after adoption, via consultation with the school and the Adopt-a-Cop and address any concerns arising from this process.
                                                                                                                                                                      

5.2   Officers in charge of police wishing to become Adopt-a-Copsshould grant (or decline) approval for the officer to be adopted by the nominated school.

5.3   Officers in charge of Adopt-a-Cops, irrespective of whether or not the Adopt-a-Cop school is located within their division, should:
(i)support Adopt-a-Cops, or officers interested in becoming an Adopt-a-Cop, to undertake Adopt-a-Cop training;
(ii)roster Adopt-a-Cops to attend to Adopt-a-Cop duties as planned in conjunction with the Adopt-a-Cop and the school principal or representative and as outlined in section 3 of this policy (Rostering);
(iii)grant (or decline) prior approval for any Adopt-a-Cop duties carried out in the member’s own time; and
(iv)provide ongoing supervision and support of officers performing Adopt-a-Cop duties.  Officers in charge are encouraged to use the Crime Prevention Database and the PPA reporting system to monitor Adopt-a-Cop duties and record outcomes.
                                     

5.4   Police or PLOs interested in becoming an Adopt-a-Cop should:
(i)seek approval from their officer in charge to become an Adopt-a-Cop;
(ii)express their interest to become an Adopt-a-Cop with the officer in charge of the relevant station;
(iii)meet with the school principal, or their representative, and the officer in charge of the relevant station to discuss the Adopt-a-Cop role;
(iv)undertake Adopt-a-Cop training and successfully complete assessment components; and
(v)participate in an adoption ceremony to be formally adopted by the school.

5.5      Adopt-a-Cops should:
(i)plan their Adopt-a-Cop visits in conjunction with their supervisor and the school principal or other relevant school representative;
(ii)ensure they are rostered to attend the school as planned and as outlined in section 3 of this policy (Rostering);
(iii)attend the school regularly as rostered and planned;
(iv)update the Crime Prevention Database with details of Adopt-a-Cop activities undertaken;
(v)advise the officer in charge of the relevant station of any changes to their Adopt-a-Cop arrangements;
(vi)seek information, advice and/or assistance from the respective District Crime Prevention Coordinator, as needed; and
(vii)resolve any local issues in conjunction with the officer in charge of the relevant station.  Where issues are unable to be resolved, Adopt-a-Cops are encouraged to seek advice from the respective District Crime Prevention Coordinator.

5.6 The Community Safety and Crime Prevention Branch is responsible for the statewide coordination of the Adopt-a-Cop program and should:
(i)maintain a Adopt-a-Cop database detailing all Adopt-a-Cops and participating schools;
(ii)develop and maintain the Crime Prevention Database to: record Adopt-a-Cop activities;
(iii)develop, and update as necessary, guidelines, policies and procedures to ensure the effective management of the Adopt-a-Cop program;
(iv)develop, coordinate and evaluate Adopt-a-Cop training to be undertaken by all Adopt-a-Cops;
(v)develop, deliver and evaluate ‘train the trainer’ Adopt-a-Cop training components to regional Adopt-a-Cop trainers;
(vi)provide quality resources to assist Adopt-a-Cops in their roles;
(vii)consult with, and provide information, advice and support to all internal stakeholders and education sectors regarding coordination of the Adopt-a-Cop program; and
(viii)coordinate the annual Adopt-a-Cop awards program.

5.7  District Crime Prevention Coordinators should:
(i)provide information, advice and support and, where relevant, resources, to assist officers in charge and Adopt-a-Cops within their district to perform their Adopt-a-Cop roles and responsibilities;
(ii)attend adoption ceremonies;
(iii)maintain accurate records of district Adopt-a-Cops and provide bi-annual updates of new or amended Adopt-a-Cop arrangements to the Regional Crime Prevention Coordinator;
(iv)when called upon, assist officers in charge of stations and Adopt-a-Cops to resolve local issues; and
(v)seek advice and assistance from the District Officer and/or Regional Crime Prevention Coordinator to address issues unable to be resolved at the local level.

5.8  Regional Crime Prevention Coordinators should:
(i)provide bi-annual updates of new or amended Adopt-a-Cop arrangements to the Community Safety and Crime Prevention Branch;
(ii)coordinate and assist with the delivery of Adopt-a-Cop training for regional Adopt-a-Cops and police and PLOs desirous of performing Adopt-a-Cop duties;
(iii)assist regional stakeholders of the Adopt-a-Cop program to perform their respective Adopt-a-Cop roles and responsibilities;
(iv)when called upon, assist District Crime Prevention Coordinators, officers in charge of stations, Adopt-a-Cops and District Officers to resolve related issues unable to be resolved at the district level; and
(v)seek advice and assistance from the Community Safety and Crime Prevention Branch and/or the Assistant Commissioner to address any issues unable to be resolved at the regional level.

5.9  Schools, childcare centres and/or community groups who wish to participate, or who participate, in the Adopt-a-Cop programshould:
(i)(if not already involved in the program) contact the officer in charge of the relevant station and request the appointment of an Adopt-a-Cop;
(ii)meet with the officer in charge of the relevant station and the selected/interested Adopt-a-Cop to discuss the Adopt-a-Cop role;
(iii)assist with planning and coordinating the adoption ceremony. Note:The Principal, Director or Group Leader, as appropriate, should sign the Adopt-a-Cop Certificate of Adoption;
(iv)assist with planning and coordinating Adopt-a-Cop visits throughout the school year.  The school principal, or their representative, should advise the Adopt-a-Cop and officer in charge of the relevant station of key school events where the Adopt-a-Cop’s attendance is desired and provide input regarding desired topics and target audiences for classroom presentations; and
(v)discuss, and attempt to resolve, relevant issues or concerns with the Adopt-a-Cop or the officer in charge of the relevant station.

5.10  Education Sectors (Education Queensland, the Queensland Catholic Education Commission and Independent Schools Queensland) should:
(i)assist the Community Safety and Crime Prevention Branch to disseminate information to schools, when requested;
(ii)encourage schools to participate in the Adopt-a-Cop program (if not already involved); and
(iii)provide information and advice to the Community Safety and Crime Prevention Branch regarding related programs or projects operating within schools.
                                                                                      

For further information about the program, please contact your local police station and ask for the District Crime Prevention Coordinator.