Have you ever wondered if a radar speed trailer would work on people?

Students at Center School in Mattapoisett recently got to test that theory out for themselves, when School Resource Officer Junior Cardoso showed up with one at the school's annual field day.

Cardoso usually works as an SRO at Old Rochester Regional High School, but he typically checks in with students at the district's elementary schools a couple times a month as well, where he gets to spend some time chatting and eating lunch with them. Because of COVID and with kids learning remotely, Cardoso said it had been about a year since he'd seen most of the students, so field day was a great way to get back to some normality. And what better way to get the kids active and excited than some real-life policing equipment?

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Cardoso said he can't quite take credit for the idea to bring the department's radar trailer to field day. Center School's physical education teacher Mr. C. actually saw something similar in a group on Facebook and reached out to Officer Cardoso to make it happen.

"At first [the kids] were kind of confused. They didn't really know what was going on," Cardoso said. "They were curious if it would work on them [or] if it was [just] made for cars."

Cardoso admits that the trailer was a little finnicky at first and he had to get it set up just right to register a speed for the kids, but it ended up being a big hit and even a highlight of the day for many. And even if the speeds weren't 100% accurate, Cardoso said it was more important for the kids to see the numbers change, and they were cheering the whole time.

So who came out on top with the fastest speed? Cardoso said the highest registered speed actually ended up coming from the last student of his last group of the day, a third grader who registered at 22 mph.

"This particular young man hadn't gotten it to register five times," Cardoso said. "The scene was amazing. All of the classes all around went wild."

Kids started jumping around and cheered together, a scene which Cardoso compared to the pure ecstasy of the Red Sox winning the World Series.

Field day at Center School was a big success this year, and Cardoso said that the activities he gets to be a part of in his role of SRO are so important to introducing young people to police in a positive setting. He said that sometimes kids are afraid of police, but most times in cases when the only interactions they've had with police are those when someone is in trouble. Activities like those at Center School's field day, even one as simple as a speed test with a radar trailer, show kids that police are people just like them who like to have fun.

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