Who knows more about law enforcement, high school kids or cops? Obviously, professional police officers have expertise and knowledge that students can't possibly match, but that didn't stop a feud from breaking out at Barbara Goleman High School in Miami Lakes Wednesday.
The school staged a full-scale version of the "Family Feud" television show in the auditorium. On one side, there was a team of kids from the school's National Security Intelligence Academy, a magnet program in which student learn law enforcement from the FBI.
Sitting across the stage from them was a team of officers from the Miami-Dade Schools Police Department. They went face-to-face, answer-for-answer, just like they do it on the TV show.
"It's a great way to end the year," Principal Joaquin Hernandez said.
A group of judges from the police department, along with one student judge, came up with the questions and surveyed 100 people in the department to get the answers used in the competition.
"It was awesome, it was an extremely fun experience. We all learned and we all had fun. It's about the experience," said Gabriel Nodal, one of the students.
Both sides were nervous, and the cops were certainly under more pressure. Their boss, Chief Ian Moffett, was watching their every move. Moffett was the host, doing his best Steve Harvey impersonation, or if you prefer, his best Richard Dawson impression.
Staging the Feud wasn't just about kids learning about law enforcement techniques. The officers also benefit from the experience, because having fun with kids, presenting that side of themselves, can change perceptions about police officers from negative to positive.
"I think this was a wonderful opportunity for the kids and the officers to get together, it shows the relationship and the bonds that we have with our kids, ending the school year on a wonderful note like this," Moffett said. "It shows our officers genuinely care about these kids and they want to share their knowledge."
The police pulled out a narrow, two to one win over their protegees, so the kids definitely held their own.
"They did more than hold their own, they had the police officers sweating there for a few minutes," said Hernandez, the proud principal, laughing at the suggestion that the police were sweating bullets, to use an expression.
The students are already talking rematch.
"It was an awesome experience and I hope next year we win," said Jennifer Rodriguez, a student in the program.
Survey says: the feud lives on.