SHOUT OUT: Proving that some of the most effective forms of community outreach begin early, Ridgewood Police Chief John M. Ward met with a group of children and their parents at the village library for “Cookies with the Chief.”
“I want to give the community greater access to me,” said Ward, an outspoken proponent of community policing who is also an adjunct college instructor. “I also want to support the library’s efforts to encourage children to read and learn.”
Ward and the Ridgewood Public Library staff hatched the idea as part of the library’s popular “Drop-in Storytime” program.
They have three goals in mind:
- promote public access public access and engagement with the department “in a casual, non-offical setting”;
- meet with children and parents in a positive setting;
- encourage youngsters to read and learn.
After a brief presentation, Ward stuck around the library to have coffee and cookies with visitors and discuss whatever was on their minds — from home security and pedestrian safety and beyond.
“Only had one cookie,” he said, jokingly.
Depending on his schedule, Ward intends to offer “Cookies with the Chief” at least two Thursdays a month beginning in August.
“I will be assisting with storytelling available to the public to discuss issues and concerns or just share a coffee or cookie,” he told CLIFFVIEW PILOT .
Storytelling with the chief?
“I will do it during lunch and have a book or text I am reviewing with me to demonstrate to the young people the benefits of reading,” Ward said.
“Learning,” he said, “is a life long process.
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