By ZEINAB NAJM
HEIGHTS — Residents of all ages gathered to create survival kits for police officers in order to show their appreciation.
The project was organized for the Back the Blue program and National Night Out initiative to support all public safety agencies.
“With everything happening around the country involving shootings and police, appreciation bags were a nice way to thank our officers,” Councilwoman Lisa Hicks-Clayton said. “This encourages residents to show their support for our police officers and firefighters.”
A dozen residents worked on the kits at Caroline Kennedy Library, 24590 George St.
Each kit contained different types of candy, each representing a characteristic needed to be a police officer. Included in the bags were Lifesavers, Smarties, Hershey Kisses, Tootsie Rolls, Laffy Taffy and Mounds bars.
Mounds represents the mounds of courage officers shows on a daily basis, Hicks-Clayton said. The Smarties are for the smart split decisions police officers make while working in the field. Lifesavers were placed in the bag as a reminder of the many times officers have been one while on the job.
“The residents enjoyed creating the kits and learning how to give back to their community,” Hicks-Clayton said. “It was great for me to bring people together for a good purpose.”
Eighty kits were made by the residents in about 20 minutes and delivered to the Police Department. Cpl. Scott Keller greeted the group, speaking and joking with the children who helped create the kits.
“He was wonderful with the children and thanked them for the kits and their support of the officers and department,” Lisa-Hicks Clayton said.
(Zeinab Najm can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.)