LOGANSPORT, Ind. (WLFI) - Logansport Police Officer Danny Farris is taking on a new role after more than two decades in law enforcement. Farris is spending his days walking the halls and teaching in Logansport's elementary schools.
"Our job is we go in and sit down with them [students], pretty much let them know that police officers are humans too," Farris said. "We're here to help them. We sit down with them and help them do school work and whatever they need. If they're having a bad day they may just come and sit down and tell us about their day."
It's all part of a new program that launched in January called Police and Teachers Helping Students, or PATHS. Farris spends one week a month at each of the four Logansport elementary schools.
Most recently, he was at Landis Elementary where principal Rita McLochlin said the students were waiting all month for his visit.
"He's also in our lunch rooms, so they all run around and talk to him during lunchtime and they just sit around and talk," McLochlin said. "It's just a different way to look at a policeman."
The purpose of the program is for officers to connect with students, something fourth grade teacher Shelby Graham said is important.
"I think it's great. I think it will give them a positive experience with police officers," Graham said. "Sometimes children these days only experience or see a police officer in a negative setting and this gives them a positive look at police officers."
With help from grant money and funding from the Logansport Police Department Farris will plan lessons and programs focused around bullying and cyber bullying. Something he said he sees every day as a police officer.
"You can send somebody a message anymore in two seconds, so I think it needs to be taught," Farris said. "It needs to be kind of stressed the importance of not doing it and how to take care of it when it does happen."
Farris said the most important lesson may be teaching the students that police officers are their friends.
Indiana Department of Transportation road crews are preparing the roads for the first winter storm of the season.
Lafayette Police are asking for the public's help to find a man wanted for burglary and theft.
Toyota says it has begun production of its 2014 Highlander SUV at its plant in southwestern Indiana.