Ok, so it’s not as bad as you think.
Sunday was a little miserable outside and we were taking the morning quite slow, for once. The boys were inhaling their breakfast and I was still trying to wake up with my face in my coffee mug. I decided to see what was happening on Facebook (you know, who had shamed themselves on Saturday night) and something popped up about an open day happening that day at the Surfers Paradise Police Station.
Knowing how much my eldest adores the Police and how much my youngest needs to touch a car that has it’s own siren, I asked the boys if they wanted to go. YESSSS was the answer so we quickly got ready and made our way in.
As I said earlier, it was a miserable day so of course the only car park I could find was a few blocks away from where we needed to be. And of course it was right about then that I remember my umbrella was back at home. Goody. So we hopped out of the car and started walking. Fortunately it was only drizzle and not pouring rain, but we still got pretty wet – a nice look to turn up a police station with.
If you’re not familiar with Surfers Paradise, it’s mostly the “party precinct” and tourist hotspot of the Gold Coast. The beaches are beautiful and they’ve tried to make it feel more family friendly with coffee shops and restaurants and gelato bars and amusement things. Unfortunately, it’s a little hit and miss. The main street, Cavill Ave has all of these things. And then you turn on Orchid Ave and once the drunken knob heads have finally made their way home it’s really just a dirty street that smells of stale beer, pizza and urinals. Delightful.
The Surfers Paradise Police Station is located on
Urinal Street Orchid Ave. We spotted the familiar blue and white sign and tried to work out where we go in (because, shockingly, I don’t visit often). There wasn’t anybody around and no noticeable signs relating to an open day. Fairly soon I was feeling like a dork – standing on the street, wet, inhaling last nights partying that was still wafting down the street, staring at a police station. It was then I heard a voice telling me which way to go and I turned around to see a lovely Policewoman showing me the way.
I didn’t catch her name (I was too excited) but she told us she would show us around. The boys were beside themselves, a “real” Police station!! We were shown the area where the naughty people are first brought in and searched and the initial paperwork is filled out, then the cells they are sent to until they are sent off to wherever it is they go next. I also saw the interrogation rooms (ok we weren’t shown that but I pretended I had something in my shoe and peeked in). She then took us to another area where all of the gear and equipment was laid out. I thought my youngest was going to hyperventilate. He ran from fancy traffic directing light things to bullet proof vests to radios to hats to speed cameras and breathalysers and back again. My eldests slowing took in each piece, tracing his fingers over them ever so slowing as if to try and remember every single thing. Too cute.
Another Policewoman (sorry, I was so crap with the names) asked Jack if he wanted to do a breath test – pretty awesome when your 5 year old looks super guilty as he shakes his head and walks slowly backwards. Even better when I feel the need to explain he has only had rice bubbles and water, nothing else, NOTHING ELSE!!
After this we were able to go downstairs to the underground carpark and see all the vehicles. There was unmarked cars, the normal Police cars, the naughty people carriers (pretty sure they have an official name), motorbikes, jet ski’s and beach buggy thingos (pretty sure that IS the official name). There was also a representative from the Bomb Squad displaying an enormous protective suit and other bits of necessary equipment.
Oh and guess what’s not the best thing to do in an enclosed area filled with Police……..pop the balloon we were given earlier. Sweet baby cheeses, I was ready to stop, drop and roll or whatever you do. I had my hands in the air like a moron, apologising, feeling my face burning. I also said sorry to a couple of kids that had started to cry from shock.
When it was time to go my littlest had a melt down in a hallway near the cells. I threatened to leave him in a cell if he didn’t stop screaming. And then realised a very handsome Policeman was standing behind me. Great. I mumbled something idiotic about joking and did my usual weird high pitched panic laugh. He walked over and asked my screeching child “what’s wrong buddy?” and the screeching stopped immediately, replaced with a giant grin and excitement that he was talking to a real Policeman. Grateful for the help with silencing the child, without thinking I stupidly said (out loud) “mummy needs to take him home with us”…..face.burning……
Other than me completely embarrassing myself repeatedly and possibly being put on some crazy woman watch list, it was such an awesome time. The misters loved every second of it. So much so that we left and went and got morning tea and then went back because they needed to see it all again. I behaved myself the second time round.
I have been brought up to have a healthy respect for the Police – be scared if you stuff up but be happy that they’re there. I really do have a huge level of respect, appreciation and adoration for them. And it’s something I’m trying to teach the boys because I believe it is so important. I’m ever so grateful to every officer there. Each one took the time to speak to the boys (and everyone else) and answer every question they had. They were amazingly warm and welcoming and friendly and I truly appreciated it. It only encourages my boys positive feelings towards the heroic men and women in blue.