The art of three students was selected from hundreds of submissions and appears on the Washington police’s first elementary school resource officer (SRO) cruiser.
The Washington Police Department and Signz360 unveiled the new SRO car Wednesday at Ziglin Signs, Washington.
The “superhero”-themed vehicle incorporates original superhero designs by Campbellton first-grader Evan Kleekamp, Washington West fourth-grader Zachary Sloan and Clearview sixth-grader Jordan Massmann.
The car will be driven by elementary SRO David Burke, who also thought of the Superhero theme.
According to Washington police Detective Sgt. Steve Sitzes, Signz360 approached the department with an offer to wrap a police vehicle. In the past, the department has wrapped a D.A.R.E. car.
“Dave (Burke) had the idea to get the kids involved, so we collaborated with Signz360 and the school district,” Sitzes added.
The department sought artwork from kindergarten through sixth-grade students in the Washington School District.
The judges included the three SROs, Sitzes and Assistant Superintendent Dr. Brendan Mahon. Police Chief Ed Menefee gave final design approval.
The winners were selected from three age groups.
“There were a lot of good ideas, with some harder to pick from than others,” Sitzes said.
“It was always our intention to use the kids’ concepts, but ultimately we went with a superhero design using their art,” he added.
Sitzes added the designs were sent in by the students and then the staff from Ziglin Signs took the art and added their touch. Ziglin Signs staff donated the supplies and their time.
During the unveiling, on hand were the design contest winners and their families and friends, Washington police officers, including the SROs, Ziglin Signs and school district personnel.
The winning concepts were “Super Blue Jay” designed by Evan, “Justice” designed by Zachary, and “Stop It Boy” designed by Jordan.
In July, the city and school district ironed out a plan for a third SRO who would work solely in the elementary schools districtwide while in session.
Under the agreement, the district will reimburse the city for about 75 percent of the salary of the three officers along with other expenses, totaling $133,000.
The agreement is for one year, ending June 30, 2019, with the option to renew the terms. When school is not in session the officers work with the police department.
Burke was named the elementary SRO, who joined the team of Mindy Schmelz and Greg Garrett.
This contract varies with the previous SRO agreement because the third officer will patrol and visit schools outside the city limits, but within the Washington district. Those include Marthasville, Augusta, Clearview, Labadie and Campbellton.
The goal of SROs is to increase safety and security at school.
Washington police added the vehicle contest was open to only Washington School District students due to the SRO agreement between the city and district.