GLOUCESTER Twp., N.J. (CBS) — Sometimes it only takes a few minutes of quality time for adults to make a big impression on children.
That’s why even though it’s a Department of Transportation program, the Gloucester Township Police Department decided to piggy back on National Walk and Bike to School Day and have their officers walk kids home.
“I think it’s great to show the kids that cops are here to help and makes them want to come to them if there’s ever a problem,” said Tiffany Tango, the parent of a child in the community.
That’s exactly the goal of community policing; building relationship when the times are good so there can be trust if there’s trouble.
“You know we want to have that strong relationship with our students and with our residents,” said Lt. Brendan Barton. “We should want to do things together cause it makes the community better as one.”
The walking and biking is also a way to promote healthy living. Officers and families coordinated a walk together on the bike path behind Gloucester Township Elementary School. “We want to get our children out there walking, biking, doing things and for the police department we want to do that with them,” Lt. Barton said.
5th grader, Alex Graffius says she wants to be a police officer someday. This summer, she was a class leader at the Junior Police Academy and this year, joined the Safety Patrol at school. She said that’s only the beginning.
“I want to be on the SWAT team when I grow up,” she said.