(Seguin) -- Watch out Topps and Upper Deck, there's a new trading card hitting the streets. In hopes of adopting a new approach to engaging kids while out in the community, the Seguin Police Department has officially launched its "Cop Cards."
Carlos Contreras, public information and crime prevention officer, says officers have begun carrying their own personal trading card. He says it's like a baseball card but for police.
"All of our officers have them either on their person or in their patrol unit -- starting from the very top, from the chief of police all the way down to our newest officer that was sworn in. The cop cars actually have a photo of the officer, the name of the officer, the title of the officer and on the back, they have a small biography of the officer and a special message that is for the kid. Some of have gotten really really creative. Some of our officers have gotten really creative with their cop cards and have said -- I'm not going to say which cop it is -- but they have put on there that 'if you see me out on the field and you see me, show me the cop card that I gave you and I will buy you an ice cream' -- so being that creative. Other officers have gone to be more encouraging, talking about success, talking about leadership, talking about consistency in any kind of aspect and also dreaming and reaching out for whatever they dream for," said Contreras.
Contreras says the goal of the program is to increase positive, one-on-one interactions with the kids in the community. He says officers will give Cop Cards to any child who wants one.
"We believe that this program has a strong initiative when it comes to a positive interaction with our community members amongst our officers. So if a child sees an officer and they're walking on by, that child is more than welcome to ask our officer here at the Seguin Police Department if they have a cop card," said Contreras.
Contreras says the business sponsor behind this community-wide effort is just as important and should be thanked for supporting local law enforcement.
"This whole program would have not been made had it not been the generosity of Caterpillar. They are a great community partner that we have here in Seguin and if it had not been for them, we would not have this program," said Contreras.
Contreras says cards will be available for each officer and K-9 on the force. He says children will not only be able to collect the different cards but they'll be able to earn some incentive prizes for keeping up with the department.
"I will tell you this though, we do have a challenge out for the kids. If they want to participate in receiving our Cop Card, there's a challenge. If you are collecting those Cop Cards, children 12-year-old and younger, if they collect 30 cards, 30 Cop Cards, individual cop cards, they can come by the police department, show us that they have those 30 individual Cop Cards and they could have a choice in winning an official SPD kid's shirt or a SPD Challenge Coin. On the challenge coin, it has a badge, our police badge and Juan Seguin on his horse on one side and on the other side, it has the police officer's prayer," said Contreras.
The Seguin PD Cop Card Collection will feature 59 sworn officers and two K9s.