On Tuesday, Hayes High School hosted “Cocoa with a Cop” throughout the school day and invited students to meet and get to know local members of law enforcement.
The event was organized by Hayes Librarian Sarah Ressler Wright and Office of School Resources Joseph Kolp, and was attended by students of all grades. During the event, the students spoke and participated in activities with various officers and deputies from the Delaware City Police Department and the Delaware County Sheriff’s Office.
Wright said a ‘Coffee with a Cop’ event was held in Hayes in 2019, but the decision was made this time around to put a different spin on the event and call it ‘Cocoa with a Cop’. “.
“It was quite successful (in 2019),” she said. “It was great. We were going to replicate it but then COVID happened.
Wright said she jumped at the chance to host the event this year and give students a chance to engage with law enforcement in a positive environment.
“I really like the opportunity to foster a great community relationship with the police department,” Wright said. “I know when I was in high school, I was really intimidated by law enforcement. They become more relevant to high school students, and I want it to be a strong partnership. The more relationships we can foster the better. I want to make sure the police know that I always support our police and the incredibly hard work they do.”
Kolp said he was pleased with how the event went.
“Each time the kids come into a more positive, relaxed setting, it makes them open up more to officers,” Kolp said. “We encourage them to ask the tough questions and have open conversations. For me, I am in school every day. The kids get used to seeing me, so I really like seeing them interact with my other colleagues and seeing that they’re just like other people. They are there to serve them and help them.
Kolp and Wright said the positive reception the event had given them hope it would become a regular occurrence.
One of the officers present at the event was Delaware Police Captain Adam Moore, who said he was delighted to attend and meet the students.
“It was a great day,” Moore said. “I found that the students were engaged. They asked good questions, not always easy questions, but with genuine curiosity about what we do. Every opportunity we have to interact with young people or other citizens and talk about what we are doing on their behalf is positive. We work for the public. Every time we have the opportunity to work with the public, to explain what we are doing, it is an advantage. This event allows us to build some of these relationships informally. »
Moore said four to five officers participated in the event at a time, coming and going according to their schedule. He added that he was grateful that the sheriff’s office was also able to participate in the event and that he looks forward to future collaborations with the school.
“The sheriff’s office has been here, they’re great partners,” Moore said. “I think today’s event went really well. It opened up other possibilities for getting involved or helping out with other things at school.
Delaware County Sheriff’s Deputy Keith Cox and therapy dog-in-training Otto chat with Hayes High School students on Tuesday at the “Cocoa with a Cop” event.
Delaware County Sheriff’s Deputy Rob Martin speaks to students at the Hayes Library at Tuesday’s “Cocoa with a Cop” event.
Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.