CHEEKTOWAGA – The students of Theodore Roosevelt Elementary School hosted members of the Cheektowaga Police Department Tuesday morning during a National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day assembly.
Principal Jeff Mochrie says a school resource officer works with the kids throughout the school district, but it was nice to see other officers in the building so that the kids can build additional relationships.
“They can relate to the kids and have that friendly relationship and build that at a young age so that when they do become older and if they do have issues, they know that they can trust those individuals in our community,” said Mr. Mochrie.
The school’s librarian, Jamie Hooper, spearheaded the assembly and worked with other staff members to get the students involved. Over the past few days, the kids created artwork badges which were judged in each classroom. The winners were able to meet with the officers after the assembly.
“It gives them face-to-face time, which the police officers here in Cheektowaga do an excellent job of but, we just thought that it would be very important for National Law Enforcement Day that they do something for our officers,” added Mr. Mochrie.
The students also put together a video and created a framed mosaic of their faces which formed the Cheektowaga Police seal.
“It’s very humbling,” said Assistant Chief of Police Jim Speyer. “We never expected such a production, and the time and the effort that these young kids put on – and their teachers and staff – we were floored by the show of appreciation.”
Mr. Speyer says it’s “refreshing” to see this kind of appreciation for police officers at a time, he says, those negative aspects of police work sometimes seems to outweigh the positive in the public’s consciousness.
“It’s occasions like this that really point out that we have a lot closer ties then we do animosity. This is the future of our country, our young kids, and the fact that they see us as people as they would see their own parent, or friend, or an aunt or uncle, it’s humbling,” added Mr. Speyer.
Separate from the assembly today, beginning at dusk, the Peace Bridge will be washed in blue lights Tuesday night in honor of all law enforcement beginning at dusk.