GLADSTONE — Michigan State Police personnel spent the day showing southern U.P. residents how they protect and serve.

An open house at the Michigan State Police Gladstone Post gave residents a chance to have some hands-on fun while learning a few things. The post invited all school districts in Delta and Menominee Counties to make field trips, and some schools took them up on it.

“We have over 300 schoolchildren here today from all of Menominee and Delta (Counties),” Gladstone Post Commander Lt. Gregory Cunningham said. “It’s really nice to see these young kids learning about law enforcement and learning about wearing their seat belt, learning about all the safety aspects. They’re asking a lot of questions and it’s great to see them here.”

Motorcycle patrol officers rode north from the Detroit area for the occasion. A distracted driving simulator also proved to be a big hit among kids.

“We have a lot of our resources and things that we have at our disposal to serve the citizens of Michigan,” Lt. Cunningham said. “Some of our Emergency Support Team services are here. We have the dive team, our canines; a lot of our specialty units are here.”

The State Police encourages each post to hold an open house event at least once a year. The agency’s 8th District Headquarters in Marquette also held an open house of its own earlier this month.