Adopt-a-cop at the rec a huge success


Nearly 400 fourth graders from the Village of Freeport spent much of Thursday, June 13, 2024, with their favorite officer from the Freeport Police Department and other officers as part of the Adopt A Cop Program at the Freeport Recreation Center, which has been a highlight for the schools since February.

Adopt A Cop, a nationwide initiative, aims to familiarize young students with police officers in a friendly environment, encouraging them to trust the police and feel comfortable seeking their help. This program has been available to schools for 25 years.

“This is a great program to introduce our officers to the fourth graders,” says Mayor Robert Kennedy. “Thanks to Adopt A Cop, the students will be more comfortable in the future dealing with law enforcement.”

Many of the students, who may have interacted with police officers for the first time through this program, enjoyed the experience so much that becoming a police officer might be added to their list of future career aspirations.

“We have about a dozen officers who were fourth graders and took part in Adopt A Cop twenty years ago and are now officers with the force,” Mayor Kennedy said with pride.

Alongside the police officers, there were firefighters, emergency vehicles, police cars, motorcycles, and ambulances. A particularly popular attraction was the large, shiny tow trucks, where the kids could sit, honk the horns, and pretend to drive.

“We just want the kids to have a positive interaction with the officers,” says Chief of Police Michael Smith. “That’s why we have so many different things for them to see, including the helicopter, mounted police and their horses, and the K-9 Units. Every one of the students has a favorite, and they get to see it up close here.”

One of the standout attractions was the Nassau County Police helicopter. Despite some dust flying around, it was one of the most thrilling stations the children visited in the parking lot of the Freeport Recreation Center.

Trustee Jorge A. Martinez and Hempstead Deputy Supervisor Dorothy Goosby were also in attendance alongside the mayor.

“I wouldn’t miss it,” Goosby said of spending the morning with the children. While she didn’t honk any horns, Goosby seemed to enjoy taking photos in front of the helicopter and horses as much as the children did.

The event concluded with everyone’s favorite, pizza.