Police share message, fun with students

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— Several Steamboat Springs officers will be donning aprons instead of badges Tuesday as they work to feed hungry high school students.

"We'll be barbecuing for all the students. The cops will be out there in aprons, flipping burgers for the kids," said Capt. Joel Rae.

The annual barbecue -- jokingly dubbed the "Pig Roast" by high school students -- is Tuesday at Steamboat Springs High School.

High school resource officer Debbi Funston said the annual event is an opportunity to "bridge the gap" between the police department and the high school students to foster better communication and provide healthy alternative activities for the students.

"It is about anti-alcohol, anti-drugs awareness. This barbecue gives us a place where we can meet under positive terms," Rae said.

Funston said the high school's Police Advisory Committee helped plan the event and was the driving force behind creating a dodgeball tournament.

The committee was awarded grant money that was used to sponsor the event, Funston said.

Only high school students, high school staff, police officers and firefighters/EMS workers will be allowed to play in the tournament. Funston said the public is encouraged to watch.

"I think the kids look forward to the Pig Roast every year. They always have a blast," she said. "We're hoping that they'll be even more excited this year because of the dodgeball."

Funston said the event is a good chance for the high students to interact with police officers and have some fun.

The Police Advisory Comm--ittee is made up of of students who are interested in discussing issues with officers. The group works to put together events such as the Pig Roast and communicates with the officers when members have questions, comments or concerns.

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