Real cops, real students, simulated situations
by Melanie Jongsma
LANSING, Ill. (October 11, 2018) – Drivers on Burnham near Ridge and at least one pedestrian wondered about the police activity in the parking lot of First Church (PCA) this evening. But TF South student Crystal Robinson was not really being arrested by Officer Dana Tatgenhorst. They were shooting a scene for an educational video that is a collaborative project for the Lansing Police Department, the Village, and TF South High School.
The project is one of the action points outlined in the Memorandum of Understanding that was signed on July 31. Item H in the Police Youth Relations section reads, “The Lansing Police Department agrees to work with Thornton Fractional South High School (hereinafter “TFSHS”)…to develop a video entitled, “Youth: Stopped by the Police? Your Rights, What You Can Do and What You Can Expect from the Police,” with students and Lansing Police Department officers in the video to improve communication, trust and understanding between Lansing police and youth in the Lansing community.”
Input from students and teachers led to a decision to create a series of shorter videos rather than one full-length video. The shorter videos will actually become interwoven with the curriculum of Civics or Social Studies classes; teachers may choose to show a video and follow it with classroom discussion led by the School Resource Officer, for example.
The decision was made to use actual Lansing police and actual students in order to make the videos relevant and authentic. Lansing’s own LNN crew is doing the filming. Yesterday they were on location at TF South; tonight they filmed in the church parking lot; a future shoot will take place on the campus of the Lansing Police Department.
Shooting is scheduled to be finished in October, leaving several weeks for editing and production with a goal of having the videos ready to be used next semester.