Indio students tour Riverside County Sheriff's Palm Desert station

Indio students tour Riverside County Sheriff's Department

PALM DESERT, Calif. - More than 60 students from Amelia Earhart Elementary School in Indio got a special tour of the Riverside County Sheriff's Palm Desert station Tuesday.

The kindergarteners got to hop on deputy motorcycles and jump inside patrol cars. They also participated in a forensic exercise and met the bloodhound K-9 Inga, and put her to the test. Inga's mission was to track down 5-year-old Autumn Huffman, with a sniff of her headband.

"I'm learning, when I was hiding, Inga can find anyone with their scent," said Huffman.

The tour was part of the school's "community helpers" unit, which stresses the importance of learning to read and write for a better future.

"We always ask do you need to learn to read to be a sheriff? They get to see all of that in place," said kindergarten teacher Melissa Graham.

"It's exciting for us, they get to see the aspects of our department at a young age," said Dep. Armando Munoz.

The goal is to teach students how they can serve their community and what kind of imprint they want to leave. At just five and six years old, they're learning to be safe, stay in school and out of trouble.

"You have to put seat belts on every time you're in a car," said student Ashton Chavez, 5.

"Following the laws and obeying, which is a great connection between school and home," said Graham.

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