The Central Panhandle Fairgrounds were transformed into a playground Wednesday, as hundreds of area students get the park all to themselves for a morning of food, rides, and special memories.
About 25 law enforcement personnel were on hand, about 300 students, and of course, an unlimited amount of fun.
"We've got a bunch this year, this is the biggest group we've ever had," Sergeant Marc Tochterman with Bay County Sheriff's Office.
For the 8th year in a row, the Bay County Sheriff's Office teamed up with the Central Panhandle Fair to provide the ultimate field trip for special needs students. up to about 8 years ago, it was actually Air Force personnel at Tyndall who accompanied the kids into the park. As events around the world dominated their attention - and their personnel - they passed the duty along to the sheriff's office.
"This gives us the opportunity to do something that's out of the norm for us, and the kids love it and we love it," Sergeant Tochterman said.
It didn't take the kids very long to get through the gates...or narrow down their favorite rides. However, it seems the day revolved around 1 ride - the Starship 2000.
"It spins and it defies gravity because it pushes you back, and you can stand on the wall," student Chris O'Donnell said.
For law enforcement officials on scene, their role was a more important one - to make these special needs kids feel even more special.
"Never gets old," said Helena Hogans with the Bay County Jail. "We enjoy watching the kids play and enjoy the festivities of the fair."
Their presence didn't go unnoticed.
"They're awesome, they're like the king of all police," O'Donnell said.