[caption id=”” align=”aligncenter” width=”348”] London Christian Elementary School Grade 8 student Marcel Scheele flanked by London Police Services officers after a day as “chief of police.”[/caption]
Students could hear the roar of the engines long before they saw the City of London’s armoured police truck trundle for London Christian Elementary School yesterday afternoon, bearing Grade 8 student Marcel Scheele.
Marcel was returning to his school after a whirlwind morning as the city’s “chief of police” for the day, an honour bestowed on him for his heroic act to help a young girl in a serious accident last summer.
From exploring jail cells to submitting to a lie detector to his favourite activity – an in-depth perusal of the city’s black emergency response SUV stashed with guns and grenades – Marcel’s temporary position allowed him to see a whole different side of the police force.
He describes the day as a reward, though he was nervous when he first learned he had been selected. Spending a whole day with representatives of the law definitely had him a little anxious, Marcel says, but it ended up being “not too scary.”
Marcel’s chief duties concluded with an assembly at the school where students, parents and friends gathered to see him receive a plaque commemorating his courageous act.
The incident for which Marcel was recognized occurred when he and his friends, three siblings who also attend London Christian school, were playing on two concrete columns on a family farm. Suddenly the columns began to sway. Sensing something wasn’t quite right, Marcel says he jumped off in time, only to see Grade 3 student Rachel Kodde pinned beneath one of the pillars.
While her brothers ran for help, Marcel knew he couldn’t just leave the young girl beneath the column, so he tried to lift it.
Amazingly, he was able to remove the heavy pillar.
“I think God was there, helping me lift it,” Marcel says.
During yesterday’s assembly, the officiating police officer also acknowledged Rachel for her heroism as she has struggled to recover from the accident. Over the last 10 months, she has progressed from a wheelchair to crutches to a walker to walking on her own. She has had to endure significant surgeries in the process.
The officers referred to Rachel as a “force for good,” commending her for being someone who chose to keep on living even though such a difficult set of circumstances had been presented to her. They noted many people do not choose to respond in this way.
Rachel’s two brothers, Nathan and Caleb, were also recognized.
Principal Stephen Janssen adds it was a delight to observe another layer of the police service in the city through the “chief for the day” initiative and to “see the force for good they aim to be.” Each year, the London Police Service invites nominations for the chief for the day honour.