February 21, 2020
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Portland Police and Firefighters team up with the Children’s Museum and Theatre of Maine

Community Author: Dianna Fletcher
Post Date:

Meeting the real people behind the badges and gear builds trust between kids and those who keep our communities safe

PORTLAND — Several Portland police officers and firefighters will step away from their posts briefly this month to meet up with children and families at the Children’s Museum & Theatre of Maine. It’s a chance for kids to meet the real people behind the badges and share experiences.

Twice this month and next, Portland Police Youth Services Officer Coreena Behnke will read books to children and answer their questions. With the department since 1999, Officer Behnke has spent the majority of her career in community policing as the School Resource Officer at Portland High School. She is also a mentor at the Long Creek Youth Development Center.

“Interaction and transparency is key to building trust with the young people in our community,” said Chief Vern Malloch of the Portland Police Department. “Starting that interaction when children are as young as 2 to 3 years old breaks down the barriers and allows kids to see police officers as real people and mentors within our city.”

Members of the Portland Fire Department will suit up in their fire gear and climb aboard the Museum & Theatre’s own fire truck. The firefighters plan to share amazing stories and talk fire safety with children and their families.  (The firefighters will visit the Museum & Theatre in September and October pending availability.)

“This is a great opportunity for children to ask any questions they have about what it takes to be a firefighter,” said Chief Keith Gautreau of the Portland Fire Department. “Children will get to meet a firefighter with their gear on, and our men and women get to share fire safety tips with kids and their families.”

These special events with both Portland Police Officer Behnke and the Portland firefighters are included free with admission to the Children’s Museum & Theatre.

Event dates:

Meet Officer Coreena Behnke, Portland Police Department

Thursday, 9/13/2018: 10:30 a.m. – 11 a.m.

Thursday, 09/27/2018: 10:30 a.m. – 11 a.m.

Thursday, 10/11/2018: 10:30 a.m. – 11 a.m.

Thursday, 10/25/11: 10:30 a.m. – 11 a.m.

Meet the Portland Firefighters

Friday, 9/21/2018: 10:30 a.m. – 11 a.m.

Friday, 10/19/2018:  10:30 a.m. – 11 a.m.

For more information, contact Reba Short, Director of Theatre & Education at 207.828.1234 ext. 223 or reba@kitetails.org.

For press information, contact Dianna Fletcher at  207.831.8148 or dianna@fletcher-media.com