On Wednesday, February 8, 2012, Mrs. Cohen’s 5th grade class from Central Boulevard Elementary School, visited the Morrelly Homeland Security Building, in Bethpage.

Mr. Symons, a lawyer who has had a genuine interest in meteorology for a very long time, welcomed us to Homeland Security with the purpose of discussing the topic of weather and showing us the Doppler radar computer screen, but we learned so much more!

First, we sat in a very large conference room with four huge computer screens displayed on the walls. Mr. Symons held an interesting discussion with the children about the formation of thunderstorms and hurricanes, and the seasons and places in the world they occur.

Next, Mr. Symons showed us a video clip of a hurricane in action with a visual of the damage this hurricane caused.

Mr. Robert Mangano then explained his work in safety management and evacuation procedures. He handed out an informative pamphlet explaining the importance of storm preparation – be ready at all times, do not wait until the last moment because supplies in the stores will be limited.

Police Officer Horn was then introduced. He explained his work with the canine and mounted patrol units. The dogs are used to chase and capture bad people and horses are used for crowd control situations. He passed around a bullet proof vest for the children to view, touch, and lift. They were surprised at how heavy the bullet proof vest really was!

Mr. Beebe gave us a mini tour of parts of the building we were permitted to see. He took us through double locked doors. The first set of doors must be closed before the second door is able to be unlocked. He showed us an alarm pad in which a code is punched in on a keypad, and hand identification is needed before entering a restricted area.

Once inside the computer room, the computer tech logged onto the Central Boulevard Elementary School security cameras. The children were able to see the outside perimeter of the school building, including the playground, field, and parking lot!

We all learned a lot about what the different federal Homeland Security departments do to help keep Americans safe, and were amazed by it all!

Thank you Mr. Symons, for arranging this special visit for us!

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