BATON ROUGE, LA (NBC33) — Kids from across East Baton Rouge Parish had a great time at the sheriff's office's shooting range. Along with getting to knock down doors and holding guns, they got to ride around in the E.B.R. sheriff's department armored vehicle.
“I'm really having fun. What's the best part? This thing right here. Why was it so fun? Because this thing is bullet proof, it's really bullet proof. So it won't be able to be shot down," says Marlon Fields
But it was more than just fun and games. The sheriff's department hopes the kids walked away learning some valuable lessons, like gun safety and working with law enforcement.
"We can reach 'em and they can understand we're not there to do any harm to them. We're not the bad guys. We're the good guys," says E.B.R.S.O. employee Anthony Ponton.
And with the parish experiencing a spike in violent crime, they hope it's a message that reaches far beyond just these kids.
"Kids like to share good things with other kids. This way we're targeting 8,9,ten kids and they're going out and bring that message out to their friends, to let 'em know, teach 'em not to touch guns and the importance of the relationship between the police department, sheriff's office and them," says Ponton.
"You want to be a sheriff? Well good for you buddy,” says Sheriff Sid Gautreaux to one of the kids.