Newington officers hope to make some young friends with new poli - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Newington officers hope to make some young friends with new policing push

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Newington police reach out to young students as part of a new community outreach program. (WFSB photo) Newington police reach out to young students as part of a new community outreach program. (WFSB photo)
NEWINGTON, CT (WFSB) -

Police in Newington are reaching out to the town's youngest citizens as part of a new community policing push.

There will soon be more cops in school cafeterias and classrooms.

Police said they've been reading to children for years. Recently, however, the chief wanted them to take it a step further and become involved in more aspects of the day for students.

"They'll be in the hallway talking to kids [and] just making it comfortable for kids to make that connection," said Jamie DeSimone, Newington police.

Police said officers will be liaisons to schools like the Anna Reynolds Elementary School.

In the months to come, officers at the middle and high schools won't be paid overtime for the assignments.

"I think it's a good idea," said Nancy Stickles of Newington. "It’s a good influence on the kids and it would be good to have a positive role model.”

Initially, Superintendent William Collins said there was thought of officers going on field trips with the students. However, he said it's not part of this effort.

Collins said a lot of students talk about wanting to become officers. He said the effort will help inquisitive young minds learn more about the job.

The officers said they benefit from the arrangement as well.

"Dealing with children and seeing life through children's eyes can bring happiness and we hope we can bring that to them as well and let them know we're not just here for the bad times, we're here for the good times," DeSimone said.

Organizers told Eyewitness News that officers have already been approached about the idea of coming into schools.

They said it will happen on a voluntary basis.

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