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Third-graders get backstage pass to city hall

Classroom to City Hall

Apr 19, 2012 - By Emily Etheredge, Staff Writer

The Riverton Police Department had an abundance of people in jail April 11, but they were all short-timers.

A group of 50 third-graders from Ashgrove Elementary School toured the police department and Riverton City Hall as part of a field trip to learn more about the community.

City secretary Kristin Watson ushered the children into the foyer of City Hall and divided them in half, allowing some to sit in courtroom proceedings while others toured the police department.

One of the teachers, Deborah Fustos, said many of the students were excited about the field trip because most of them had never been inside City Hall before.

"A lot of the kids have grown up in Riverton and driven by City Hall but never had the opportunity to go inside and see what happens," Fustos said.

Riverton police officer Scott Peters gave the tour for the police station and showed the students various things such as dispatch, a jail cell and what happens when you call 911. The children were able to meet police chief Mike Broadhead and learn about what goes on inside the police department.

"If you ever need to call the police for something, always remember to tell them who you are and where you are so the police can come and help you," Peters said.

Rodney Carver attended the field trip with daughter Lillie who said she was excited to see what goes on in the court system and police station.

"Lillie has never been inside City Hall, so I think it is a good opportunity for her to learn," Carver said.

The students had covered material in class about the mayor and laws in the community.

"After this field trip, the kids will be required to take a test on things they have learned, and they will have to look at a map of Riverton and locate various places in the community, including city hall," Fustos said.

Third-grader Eli Gard enjoyed being able to see the car that transported the prisoners to Lander at the police station.

"I thought the police part was more fun, and it was cool getting to see where the prisoners go," Gard said.

Third-grader Shaliaya Wolfname had visited City Hall several times but never had the opportunity to see the inside of a courtroom.

"I thought it was kind of scary because people were in there talking about the bad things they had done," Wolfname said.

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