Toowoomba officer named 2013 Adopt-a-Cop winner
A TOOWOOMBA police officer has been named the Adopt-A-Cop 2013 winner for her selfless dedication to teaching children about cybersafety.
Senior Constable Rachel Smith has spent the past nine years juggling her duties with the Child Protection and Investigation Unit and a voluntary role with Middle Ridge State School.
Her countless hours spent with students from prep to grade seven were recognised on Tuesday when she was crowned the Adopt-A-Cop winner.
The Queensland Police Adopt-A-Cop program assigns schools a local police officer for safety education.
Snr Cst Smith has focused on child internet safety - particularly in the age of "selfies" - in recent years.
"I am very big regarding internet safety because we are getting a lot of problems with that," she said.
"Kids aren't understanding the consequences of their actions when they take pictures of themselves and they think it's in fun or they are using it to threaten or harm people."
The former Middle Ridge State School student uses slideshows, lectures and role plays to bring the message home.
"I wanted to get that message across that it's not appropriate and to tell parents how to get on top of it for their kids as well because they obviously have concerns," Snr Cst Smith said at the awards ceremony in Brisbane.
Police Commissioner Ian Stewart said Snr Cst Smith was selected as the state winner for her dedication and enthusiasm.
"Over her nine years with the school she has developed strong relationships with the students and staff," he said.
"She has focused on maintaining a high level of cyber safety awareness amongst the students and ensures that the children can speak to her on any level."
The Bundaberg region was named the Adopt-A-Cop division winner.