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Akron Municipal Court judge, APD host students

7/4/2013 - West Side Leader
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By Staff Writer

DOWNTOWN AKRON — On May 9, Akron Municipal Court Clerk Judge Katarina Cook’s Court and the Akron Police Department (APD) were the destination of St. Hilary School’s third-grade field trip.

Tiffany Starkey teaches a city of Akron segment in her social studies class. Using the teaching materials provided by the Ohio State Bar Foundation’s “Did Not! Did Too!” curriculum (which is designed to introduce third-graders to the American Legal System), she prepared her students for the trip, according to Court officials. 

In prior years, when Cook’s two older sons had Starkey as a teacher, Cook went to the classroom and helped each of the third grade classes with a mock trial, which was based on a fairy tale. This year, Cook’s youngest son encouraged her to come to his class and help with the mock trial.

“Mrs. Starkey wanted to do a field trip to the courthouse, but I thought that if the students are down here at the City Safety Building, why not take advantage of the police station that is in the same building?” Cook said.

Three groups, each wearing white, blue or red shirts, went to Court, to the Police Museum or to the APD’s roll call room. At the Court, shown above, Jack, of “Jack and the Beanstalk,” Goldilocks, of “Goldilocks and the Three Bears,” and the Big Bad Wolf, of “Little Red Riding Hood,” all had to defend their actions. Assisting Cook with the proceedings was her staff, Assistant Prosecutor Mary Lohr, and attorneys Rob Nestico, of Kisling, Nestico & Redick, and Marshall Pitchford, of Roetzel & Andress. Each side had three attorneys, and the mock trial followed the actual procedure with opening and closing statements and direct and cross examinations. The jury had to deliberate, and the defendants were found either guilty or not guilty.

At the Akron Police Museum, Officer Jim Conley, shown below with students, spoke about the history of the APD, telling the students about some high-profile criminals captured in Akron. Administrative Assistant of Community Relations Melissa Hentosz organized the tour in her department, and the students were also treated to a visit by Officer Jeff Edsall and Tom Girolami, K-9 trainer, and K-9 Thunder. 

Sgt. Oscar Morris organized the security for the field trip, and Lt. Rick Edwards and other officers helped make the field trip possible, according to Cook.

Cook encourages principals, teachers and parents at other elementary schools to contact the Akron Municipal Court if they are interested in a field trip to the City Safety Building. 

Photos courtesy of the Akron Municipal Court

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