Local law enforcement, armed with a grill and free hot dogs, showed a group of kids Saturday that police officers are here to help rather than hurt them.
"I want to be a police officer," 9-year-old Kayleigh Cornelius said. "My DARE officer is Tina (Douglas), and I want to be like her."
Minden police officers, including Douglas, Chief Steve Cropper, Off. Jeremy Sitter, officers first class Shawn Jenkins, Chris McClaran and Clint Smith, as well as K-9 officer Harley met with the surrounding community of Mt. Pilgrim Baptist Church Saturday in a show of good faith and fellowship.
"We were involved with Operation We Care on Crichton Hill a couple of weeks ago, and that went over really well," Cropper said. "We are going to do more gatherings like that."
Cropper said Tango Transport donated hot dogs for the get-together, and one of the officers manned the grill.
Smith put Harley, a Belgian Malinois, through his paces, and then gave the children an opportunity to make friends with the K-9 officer.
Afterward, officers interacted with the kids, showing them how to use their radios and talking to them about safety issues and police work.
"So many of these kids are afraid of the police," Cropper said "We don't want them to think if they see an officer that we are going to automatically take them to jail."