Field Trip: Sheriff’s Department

Field trip number two for this year was to the Sheriff’s Department. My seven year old liked this one even more than our tour of the shorebird hospital. Kathryn and I enjoyed both and learned plenty, although I think the parts that impressed us were not necessarily the same parts that impressed him!

We started our tour with a demonstration by one of the K9 units. We love dogs so this was fun to watch. They have jail dogs (including a rescued pit bull), bloodhounds for tracking missing people, explosive detection dogs, and patrol/narcotics detection dogs trained to sniff drugs as well as take down and hold a suspect who runs away.

Sheriff K9 officer

The dog who did the demonstration is a Belgian Malinois; his mannerisms reminded me so much of our Piper! After seeing this dog, and hearing another officer describe his Dutch Shepherd (a breed closely related to the Malinois), any doubt I had about Piper’s primary breed is gone. She’s definitely got a whole lot of “Dutchie” in the mix.

Does your Sheriff’s department have an air boat? Ours does! Gotta love coastal living. This thing has a Corvette engine and can go in only two inches of water. They use it primarily for search and rescue, and it can even tow a small boat.

sheriff air boat

My boy LOVES motorcycles. Every time we see one, he pipes up to yell, “Motorcycle!” Thankfully, I’ve gotten him to tone it down a bit because a few years ago he’d scare me half to death with that while I was driving!

Anyway, we got an explanation of why motorcycles work better than patrol cars for some things, like seat belt violations: they can simply see better. Plus it can go in and out of traffic, and manage a parade, better than a car. This thing even has a printer in the back if they need to issue a ticket! The helmet is amazingly high-tech, too, with all the things built into it.

sheriff motorcycle with lights

After all the excitement outside, we had a demonstration of how they do fingerprinting at a crime scene, using the kids’ fingerprints on a cup. To finish up, we toured the actual office. Everyone we interacted with was so kind and helpful, and they did a great job tailoring what they talked about according to the kids’ ages and questions. But it was a bit sobering seeing the black stripe on all their badges to honor an officer in a neighboring town who was killed earlier that week.

This tour was organized by a local homeschool group, so I was delighted to meet more homeschooling moms. We’re already looking forward to the next field trip we have planned with this group!

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Kris @ Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers

I love the new look of your site! We had a couple of officers from our sheriff’s department do a K-9 demonstration for our homeschool group one time. Their dogs were Belgian Malinois, too. Beautiful dogs and so intelligent!