CHILDREN at Willaston Primary School should have no reason to fear the long arm of the law after forging close ties with their community police constable.
And the pairing with Constable Charlene Dooley has worked so well the children have nominated her for a community police officer of the year award.
Rose Burton, deputy head at the school said: ‘She always comes to school events, when time allows, and is really supportive of initiatives that we’re introducing. The children crowd round her in school and there’s a genuine warmth between them.
‘Charlene is an excellent support to our school and she will readily go that extra mile because she cares.
‘To us, Charlene captures the essence of a true community police officer and we’d like to say thank you.’
As well as spending some lunchtimes and break times with the children, Constable Dooley has helped to set up a rewards scheme at the school to recognise outstanding effort.
Mrs Burton added: ‘Charlene and I set up a scheme in school to reward children who show respect towards each other and our community.
‘Each half term Charlene picks winners and takes the children on a trip.
‘So far they’ve been to the main police station, Christmas shopping and to the Isle of Man College Restaurant. Charlene puts in a great deal of effort to make these rewards special.’
Constable Dooley, who is 29 and lives in Laxey, was pleased and flattered at the nomination for the Isle of Man Newspapers sponsored award.
‘It’s a really nice surprise,’ she said.
‘I spend a lot of time at Willaston school and have been very lucky to be involved with them.
‘One of the main things we do is the reward scheme which was set up because we felt all too often we miss out on spending time with children who are well behaved.
‘We thought it would be good to reward them and encourage them.’
She said the children could earn reward tokens for things like helping their parents or helping their teacher to tidy up. The tokens are then put into a draw and six are selected to do a special trip or activity with her.
‘I have an excellent relationship with the school and it is a part of the job I really enjoy,’ she said.
‘I’m very proud to be associated with Willaston School – it’s the best part of my day.’
Mrs Burton added: ‘I’m nominating Charlene on behalf of all our children at the school.
‘Charlene plays a massive role in the life of our school. She is a regular visitor and the children have formed really good relationships with her both in and out of school.’
The winner of the award will be announced on March 17.