Winchester police officers and fire fighters were especially busy Friday afternoon, shooting baskets and answering questions in Frederick Douglass Park for the city’s second annual North End Summer Kick Off.
Kids got a chance to see familiar first responders, and meet some new ones, like Winchester’s new Fire Chief, William Garrett who was sworn in Monday.
“I wanted to be here, to be part of this kick off. It’s activities just like this where I believe that the men and women of the fire rescue department can engage and be with the community and meet them where they are,” Garrett said. “I’m very impressed with the community response number one but secondly with the public safety team concept here and how it’s working.”
Police Lt. Amanda Behan says it’s important for officers to connect with the community, especially with youth.
“Sometimes, the public, when we come to their houses or their schools or whatever, the interaction may not be as pleasant as we want it to be,” she said. “We always want them to see us as a friendly face and in a positive light. So we’re hoping as we continue to do this, that will continue to grow.”
Plus these community outreach events help officers find that balance between work and play
“Any time they can take a break from the things that they do every day and spend some time having fun, having good conversations in a positive environment, it’s great for them and it’s great for the community,” Behan said.