Photo courtesy of Trooper Billy Collier.
SURGOINSVILLE — The 85 first-graders at Surgoinsville Elementary School welcomed members of the Tennessee Highway Patrol last Thursday morning including a THP helicopter pilot and the THP’s mascot — “Tenny C. Bear.”
Trooper Billy Collier and THP helicopter pilot Sgt. Mark Musick escorted Tenny C. Bear to the school for a program intended to introduce the first graders to the THP, as well as discuss highway safety, child restraint safety, and the importance of always being properly restrained in their booster seat.
Students were given a tour of Collier’s cruiser and a hands on look at all the equipment that troopers carry with them on the road.
“Our goal is to educate the kids about safety and to break down their fears that they may have about police officers,” Collier said.
Students also received a tour of Musick’s helicopter.
Musick spoke to the students about the different types of missions he flies such as criminal searches for robbery suspects, pursuits, etc.; and non-criminal such as missing persons searches, as well as photographic and traffic related missions.
We work closely with area law enforcement agencies as well as search & rescue agencies who are all free to call on us at any time for emergencies and to coordinate the searches or missions,” Musick told the students. “We have F.L.I.R. (Forward Looking Infra Red) and the night sun (searchlight) to assist us at night.”
There was also plenty of free loot for the kids to take home including treat bags full of pencils, badges, coloring books, crayons, small footballs and other THP paraphernalia.