At right, Riley Cayaditto, 11, of Nageezi, checks out the inside of a helicopter flown in from San Juan Regional Medical Center for Law Day on Friday in
At right, Riley Cayaditto, 11, of Nageezi, checks out the inside of a helicopter flown in from San Juan Regional Medical Center for Law Day on Friday in Shiprock. (Jenny Kane/The Daily Times)
SHIPROCK — Children got to walk in the shoes of local emergency responders Friday.

Literally.

As part of Shiprock's Law Day, police officers, firefighters and emergency medical services showed up Friday at the Phil L. Thomas Performing Arts Center in Shiprock with their most impressive gear.

Students stomped around in fire boots, tried on bullet proof vests and sat inside helicopters.

"It's awesome, the helicopter. It has a lot of buttons," said Riley Cayaditto, 11, from Nageezi.

Law Day has been an annual event for Shiprock for more than a decade. It aims to encourage children to become familiar with emergency services and how to use them.

"We try to humanize ourselves," said Shiprock police Sgt.
A Navajo Nation police officer shows how one of the dogs from the K-9 unit can find illegal substances during a demonstration at Law Day at the Phil L.
A Navajo Nation police officer shows how one of the dogs from the K-9 unit can find illegal substances during a demonstration at Law Day at the Phil L. Thomas Performing Arts Center in Shiprock on Friday. (Jenny Kane/The Daily Times)
Francis Yazzie. "We try to get the kids to recognize that we are nice people."

More than 1,000 children and their parents attended the event, which had more than 40 booths and exhibits.

Many demonstrated the skills of their staff and how to use their equipment.

Children excitedly watched one of the dogs from the Navajo Nation Police's K-9 unit demonstrate its ability to find illegal substances. They also enjoyed honking the horn of one of the San Juan County Fire Department's trucks.

Even Navajo Nation Vice President Rex Lee Jim attended and was impressed by the display, which was organized by the Navajo Nation Police.

"Not only the kids, but everyone needs to understand that the officers are here to protect us," Jim said.

Jenny Kane can be reached at jkane@daily-times.com; 505-564-4636. Follow her on Twitter @Jenny_Kane.