19th October 2022: Tour of Denton

Today, we entered a big yellow American school bus, which took us to several interesting places in Denton.  

We started our tour at city hall, where we met the mayor Mr. Gerard Hudspeth. It is important to point out that he is the first black mayor in Denton. He was born and raised in Denton, attended Denton High School and went to university in Denton. Mr. Hudspeth introduced himself and explained that with Denton’s rapid growth he strives to protect the unique quality of life in Denton. He talked about the six council members who are the legislative body of the city and who make the community’s decision. We were invited to sit in his chair and to visit his tiny office. 

After that, we went to the UNT campus – University of North Texas. On the huge campus you can find many different buildings. A friendly guide showed us around and told us that – depending on the subject – students have to pay between 12000 and 20000 $ dollars per year. First, we went into the library which is very well equipped and keeps the seventh smallest book in the world. Afterwards, we met professor Kris Chesky, who designed different pain-relieving technologies for musicians. On the way, we stopped at a merch shop, where we bought UNT sweaters and different souvenirs. After that we went to the impressive cafeteria, where they serve many different meals and a wide selection of desserts. Yummy!

The last stop of the tour was the Denton’s police station and training center for police officers. First, we were led into a seminar room and surprisingly the police officer who joined us introduced himself in perfect German. Officer Marc Hodges, who works as a School Resource Officer (SRO) now, was born in Germany and lived there for a very long time.

He gave us an interesting insight into the work of Denton’s police department. We visited different rooms, where police officers keep themselves fit and healthy or trained for different fights and scenarios. We were even allowed to practice shooting with a modified pistol. The training center also has a room with movable walls, where police officers train for different scenarios, like the capturing of a hostage. 

Then we went to Denton’s prison. We had a look in different cells and were told about the actions that are undertaken if prisoners do not cooperate. Then we entered the emergency call center, where the emergency calls from Denton come in. That is a very stressful job! 

Finally, we moved to the parking lot where we were introduced to the police’s equipment, could sit on a police motorbike or even climb into a police car. 

This day was a very informative day and we learnt a lot.

(written by Finn and Konrad)