Burlington Club Youth Tour Police Department

Officer Josh Murdock of the Burlington Police Department visited the kids at the Burlington Boys & Girls Club for some on-the-spot fun this summer, dropping in for game of dodgeball, and recently, he took members on a VIP tour of the police station.

It’s a bit of a walk to the Burlington Police station from the Club at Maiben Park, but officer Murdock was there to help chaperone, making sure drivers slowed down, and kids could cross the streets safely. Upon arrival, officer Murdock spent some time showing the kids all of the tools on his belt, and talking about how they are used. One thing youth were surprised to learn that officer

s are exposed to pepper spray as part of their training. He also explained that the tools on his belt are there to keep him safe and other people safe, and that he has never fired his gun outside of training at the firing range. He showed how his two different sets of handcuffs work, and later, even showed how fast he can apply them. Staff Program Coordinator, Andrew Flores was soon rendered immobile, but was a good sport about the demonstration.

Officer D. Pehrson came out for a quick visit before heading out on his traffic beat. He gave a snapshot into a typical day on the force. He said that morning he had responded to a house alarm that turned out to be a false alarm, and that he found a dog and returned it to its owner.

Inside, youth met Officer Mike Lumpkin, who admitted that he was aware that his last name was a lot like Pumpkin. This got the kids laughing. He gave the out a gift of cool mood pencils to the kids. Then they visited the holding cell area, and the control room, where they saw all of the traffic cameras, and officer Murdock showed them how he could control them remotely to show a different view. Outside, officer Murdock opened up a Chevy Tahoe police cruiser and turned on the siren. At the end of the tour, he shook each member’s hand and asked what they had learned from the tour. One thing that was impressed upon the children, was that just because
someone makes a mistake, it doesn’t make them a bad person.

“It’s important for our kids to have a positive relationship with Law Enforcement. Police are here to protect and help us. Interactions like these help build trust among the kids, that they can rely on first responders should the need arise,” said Manny Smith, Director of Operations for the Clubs. The Boys & Girls Clubs of Skagit County would like to thank the Burlington Police Department for taking the time to interact with and educate Club youth.

Burlington Club visits the Fire Station

Club members enjoyed a walk to the the nearby Burlington Fire Station to learn about a day in the life of a firefighter and how they can improve on their fire safety knowledge. Burlington Fire & Safety Educator, Erica Littlewood and the group spent some time in the station’s learning center where they covered subjects such as, having a fire escape plan with your family, smoke alarms, and what to do if fire gets on you. This last interactive lesson was a favorite among the kids as Littlewood placed felt flames representing fire on a Club member volunteer, who then demonstrated her “Stop, Drop, and Roll” skills. Littlewood expressed that she was impressed with the their knowledge, saying “I appreciated this group’s thoughtful questions, comments, and answers to my questions.”

Next, youth visited the kitchen, where Firefighter Keith explained that firefighters cook and enjoy their meals together. Firefighter Brad quipped, “Not everyone here is allowed to cook.” Then youth went to the large garage where all the emergency vehicles and equipment is kept. Firefighter Eric dressed in full gear complete with an air tank, helmet and mask. “His voice voice sounds funny in there, doesn’t it,” said Firefighter Brad. “If there’s a fire and someone sounds like Darth Vader, that’s a firefighter coming to help.” Firefighter Keith explained that because of heavy smoke, a firefighter needs the air tank to breathe, and they will sometimes crawl on hands and knees to be able to see, and stay out of the thickest smoke. Kids were able to try on some of the protective equipment and discovered that it is very heavy and warm.

The visit concluded with an in-depth tour of the fire engine, and each youth got to try their skill on the fire hose. Firefighters rolled out a miniature barn with flames on top. Each Club member shot the hose, aiming to knock down the flames. The Boys & Girls Clubs of Skagit County is grateful to the Burlington Fire Department for all the service they provide the community, and for taking the time to educate and visit with our Club members.