In an effort to continue an open relationship with the community, The Upper Darby Police Department has introduced a contest open to Upper Darby School District children in grades 1 through 4.
“Many times the children of our community are intimidated or afraid to approach a Police Officer and hesitate to ask them a simple question or even ask for assistance in an emergency” writes Superintendent Michael Chitwood. The “Cop Cards” program is designed to eliminate this fear.
“Cop Cards” follows the tradition of baseball card collecting. Between June 15 and September 14, children can collect and trade baseball cards of Township Police Department Employees. This program provides an opportunity to relay an important safety message in a format that children can enjoy and share with each other.
The goal of the program is to provide an open line of communication between Officers and children. This will make children feel comfortable talking with a police officer under any circumstances and cultivate positive interactions in the community. As an extra incentive,
Each card has a picture of an employee, a mini biography, and personal message that each child is encouraged to practice. Children can obtain a checklist from the school’s Principal’s office to keep track of cards they have collected.
This isn’t the only outreach for the police and the children of the community. In 2008, Sergeant James Reif was asked to address the staff at Stonehurst Elementary on the topic of lock-down drills and other police related issues. One of the 5th grade teachers asked Sgt. Reif to address her class because of a number of problems that was occurring. Sgt Reif, after learning that the children regarded the Upper Darby Police negatively, decided he wanted to work with the children to become more informed about the role police play in the community. The fifth grade mentoring program was then expanded to include all seven schools.
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