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Greenwich Public Schools Celebrate Being Safe

Greenwich Police Officer Ryan Beattie with Western Middle School Grade 8 students VictorColin, at left, and Derek Silva, at right, and Grade 7 and 8 Science teacher Tyler Mecozzi.
Greenwich Police Officer Ryan Beattie with Western Middle School Grade 8 students VictorColin, at left, and Derek Silva, at right, and Grade 7 and 8 Science teacher Tyler Mecozzi. Photo Credit: Frank MacEachern
Greenwich Police Officer speaking at Western Middle School.
Greenwich Police Officer speaking at Western Middle School. Photo Credit: Frank MacEachern

GREENWICH, Conn., -- Greenwich Police Officer Ryan Beattie spoke about police work and how hard he worked to become a police officer. He told a roomful of Grade 8 students at Western Middle School that he knew from the age of six what he wanted to do with his life.

"It's the only thing I ever wanted to do," said Beattie who noted his grandfather and uncle were police officers.

He spoke to the students  Thursday as part what's called "Be Safe - Stop. Think. Act" a social learning initiative by Greenwich Public Schools.

Beattie was one of seven Greenwich Police Officers at the school to speak with students. Principal Gordon Beinstein said having the officers in the school helps reinforce the safe school climate norms of acceptable behavior that is being promoted district wide.

"This is what we do all the time we talk about the norms all the time," he said.

One of the students who enjoyed the event was Derek Silva. The Grade 8 student said that having a safe school can help prevent bullying.

He cautioned the students that if they wanted to be police officers they had to study hard and also stay out of trouble. He told them the process to become an officer is grueling and also includes a lie detector test, an extensive background check in addition to classroom work and extensive training.

He was peppered with questions by the students especially about his handgun and Taser as students wanted to know everything about them, including what it is like to be shot by a Taser. Beattie had the answer for that: "It was the longest five seconds of my life," he said with a laugh as he remembered being shot with a Taser during his training. He even showed the students of him being held during the training as he screamed during those five seconds.

Student Derek Silva was one of the students impressed with Beattie's message and his police work.

"it's about showing us about safety and I think it's really good that he's here," he said.

On Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Cos Cob Fire House a community event will be held with firefighters, police officers, and paramedics where they will be able to explore fire trucks, Greenwich Emergency Medical Service and police cars as well as enjoy free coffee, hot chocolate and cookies.

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