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      AmeriCorps works with kids to curb drug and Gun crimes

      Drug crimes and violence; they're two of Albany TMs biggest problems.

      And the Albany Police department knows a key changing that problem is educating people when they are young.

      The purpose of this event is to teach our youth about gun safety and drug awareness, said Michael Allen of AmeriCorps.

      That's why the Albany Police Department's AmeriCorps team talked to kids from a local pre-K school about staying on the right track.

      We're trying to get them at a young age so that when they reach that teenage level they will be prepared, said Allen.

      An APD officer, another from the Albany-Dougherty Drug Unit along his canine partner, and of course McGruff the Crime Dog all talked to kids.

      When I came out as McGruff, I was really happy because at first i thought a lot of them were going to be scared of me, but a lot of them were waving and they were laughing and a lot of them just had big smiles on their face, said McGruff.

      The children even became honorary officers for the day.

      For many of the kids one of their favorite parts of the field trip was getting inside one of the squad cars, and once inside they even got to play with some of the bells and whistles.

      Now some say their considering careers in law enforcement. It's just sign that the message today, got through to the kids.

      Anytime a person is not really into something they won't really respond. But the pre-schoolers they responded very good and they were looking at every activity and they were on point with everything, said McGruff.