Rebekah Aidukaitis: An Atypical Police Tour

Rebekah Aidukaitis

As a corporate wife, Rebekah Aidukaitis has seen much of the country. Using this to her advantage, she now writes romantic suspense, romantic comedy and family humor, deftly incorporating setting and socio-economic backdrops to compliment each plot. Her recently completed manuscript, Hickory Grove, explores the connection between a Midwest artist torn between saving her marriage or an abducted child, and the perverted abductor bent on destroying her life. Available now to agents everywhere. When not writing, Rebekah is a volunteer with several community organizations. She currently lives in Indiana with her husband and four children.

Atypical Police Tour

A Police Department tour is a must for every Cub Scout. As a den leader, I set up a tour with the community relations officer in our town and arrived February 2, with eight seven-year-olds and their parents, ready to see all the exciting, secret stuff beyond the lobby. We weren’t disappointed. This tour was VERY informative.

Richmond Indiana Police Department

The officer appeared in full dress uniform, definitely impressing the boys, and happily showed us every room, from the weight room to the interrogation room (letting the parents spy on the kids through the one-way glass, and vice versa). That was fun. But there were portions of the tour that seemed a bit odd.

As we entered the Juvenile Division, one of the boys made a funny comment about the officer’s name. The officer jokingly took the boy in a head hold, which caught some parents off guard. But we were okay. This was a police station after all, so we were safe, right? He let the boy go. Then the officer started telling the boys about the kinds of crimes that land juveniles in jail, or sometimes even in the mental institution on the edge of town. At that point a boy raised his hand and announced to the group that his brother lives at the mental institution. The room went silent. Awkward.

On we went to the lab, which led to the evidence storage room. Pausing for a few moments outside the door, the officer told us the importance of evidence and why we couldn’t go in, giving us a graphic description of items that have been held there and the crimes committed with these weapons. Every parent cringed, wanting to cover their boy’s ears, pushing toward the hallway to continue the tour at the drunk tank and the two locked cells there. That was a bad move. Standing in the hallway, I think the officer took relish in telling us why they don’t use those cells anymore. Apparently a teenager was brought in on a Friday and locked in one of the holding cells. Inexplicably, they were forgotten about all weekend with no food, water, or toilet facilities. Since then everyone is transported directly to the jail across the street. Wonderful. That gave us such confidence in our civil servants.

But the tour didn’t stop there. Anxious to show us the city’s cutting edge equipment, we were brought to another room with a fifty thousand dollar drying machine. Here again, we were told the gruesome details of bloody shirts, semen-coated clothing, and the crimes associated with these messy pieces of evidence. Then he pointed out the refrigerator in the corner to talk about the rape kits kept inside. Maybe not so appropriate for young boys.

Last stop was the Detective Division, where we were warned not to discuss anything in that room once the tour ended. I didn’t see anything as bad as what I heard. In order to show the determination of some detectives, the officer related a story about a detective’s daughter who was murdered (more grisly details), and how that detective vowed not to retire until the case was closed. Twelve years later, the detective solved the crime, retiring the very next day. Great, a happy ending. I’m sure the parents appreciated that as they swept their boys out the door, mourning the loss of innocence.

Over the past few weeks, some of the parents and I have shared a good laugh over these events, but the general consensus remains the same: next year we’re going to the fire department instead.

9 replies
  1. Rebekah
    Rebekah says:

    However inappropriate, I know the officer did the head hold in fun, so we cut him some slack there. And parts of the tour, like the interrogation room, were fun, but it’s amazing how quickly a tour can turn bad and how that stays with you.

    The fire station is definitely the way to go. And good for you for working with Big Brothers and Big Sisters; another great organization.

  2. SZ
    SZ says:

    Scared straight ? I do not have kids, however I would not want anyone puting a head hold on him. That tour guide seemed inappropriate. I am surprised someone did not whisper to him after the first faux pas.

    I was with Big Brother Big Sisters for 7 years, we got to do the Fire Station. Very fun !

  3. Rebekah
    Rebekah says:

    Isn’t the DARE program terrific? They have been visiting my daughter’s school for the last week and have really had an impact on her. She comes home every day quoting statistics with a smile. And nothing inappropriate. To all you conscientious officers out there, keep up the good work!

  4. queenofmean
    queenofmean says:

    Wow. That must have been have been an ‘interesting’ trip. We did a tour of the local police department with Cub Scouts, too. Ours is just a suburb of a bigger city so there wasn’t as much involved. The tour was conducted by the DARE officer who was also involved with our ‘Just Say No’ program. So, he was used to dealing with elementary age kids.

  5. Rebekah
    Rebekah says:

    Elena, you are right. There is nothing funny about graphic descriptions to children. The fact that the children would encounter this at a police station, where you should feel safe from that sort of thing, is what made it so ironic.

    As for the officer who gave the tour, I learned last week that there is a different officer that typically gives all Boy Scout tours. For some reason he was not available for our tour. I met the absent officer in person, and in his defense, he would have done a much better job. As a warning to all: make sure your tour guide knows your expectations.

  6. D. Swords
    D. Swords says:

    Hi, Rebekah,

    I can remember when I was a Cadet on the local police dept., many years ago, I had to give tours to elementary school kids.

    Eventually, I droned on mindlessly, but it was age appropriate material.

    On reading your post a second time, I agree that the material was age inappropriate.

    I hope you said something to someone at the PD. You should have suggested they review what little kids are told.

  7. Elena
    Elena says:

    I do hope the police department has stopped giving tours to young people until they come up with an age appropriate tour. I find nothing funny about graphic descriptions to children who are too young to process the information.

    And, the officer who did the head lock should be put on report. Touching children without permission is no longer allowed. You can’t even hug a child you are working with unless they instigate it.

  8. Terry
    Terry says:

    Reminds me (vaguely) of the field trip to the Post Office with the pre-school set. Tour guides often are “programmed” and don’t take the age of the group into account. At least the pre-schoolers were merely bored with some of the droning on and totally unfamiliar vocabulary. Not subject to nightmare material.

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