One day last month, two of the Roxbury elementary schools took part in “Thank a Police Officer Day,” a nationally recognized day where communities come together to show their local police departments how much they appreciate what they do.
Stefanie DelRusso, guidance counselor at Jefferson and Kennedy Elementary Schools organized this event for the schools.
“As a longtime resident of Roxbury Township, it is easy to see how great the relationship is between the police department and the youth here in town,” she says,
In preparation for this visit, students were asked to either write or draw a ‘thank you’ for their special visitor. Students hand delivered these notes and pictures of thanks directly to Roxbury Chief of Police Marc Palanchi who in turn visited their classrooms, spoke to the children, and answered their questions about being a police officer and his role in the community.
“Fostering an understanding of how the police are here to help and be a part of our everyday lives is imperative to helping our students better understand our community as a whole,” said DelRusso.
Conveniently, this day landed amidst the visit of the “Officer Phil” safety program which was sponsored in the schools by the Roxbury PBA.
In addition, to the emphasis on student safety this week, many of the students discussed community helpers as a part of their usual lesson plan. This community lesson covers a myriad of people that help make a community work including police officers, fire fighters, postal service workers, etc.
DelRusso said, “Most importantly, we want our students to feel safe, not only here in school but in every activity here in the community and familiarizing them with all the facets that make this township run smoothly is a great way to do so.”
Palanchi encouraged the students to always reach out to an officer in uniform if they are ever in need.
All the notes and pictures of thanks will be shared with all the members of the Roxbury Police Department.