Gloucester Police Officers Adopt Students From Class of 2030 as Part of Kops N Kids Program
GLOUCESTER — Chief John McCarthy is pleased to announce that the Gloucester Police Department will be expanding its Kops N Kids initiative by having three of its officers “adopt” the students who comprise the class of 2030.
Officers Josiah Aberle, Tim O’Leary and Michal Cimoszko have committed to adopt the first grade students in all of Gloucester’s elementary schools. Through their 12-year commitment to the class of 2030, the officers will pay regular visits to the students as they progress through the Gloucester schools and take the first steps on their path to graduation.
This new program is the latest step toward growing the Kops N Kids initiative, ensuring that children have numerous opportunities to develop relationships with the police officers who serve them and their community.
“This is an amazing opportunity for our officers to build meaningful and lasting relationships with our kids,” Chief McCarthy. “I’m proud of Officers Aberle, O’Leary and Cimoszko for taking on this extraordinary commitment and volunteering to serve as mentors and friends to children throughout their school careers.”
Kops N Kids launched in 2016, under the guidance of Lt. Jeremiah Nicastro, as a way for officers to engage with kids by joining them for lunch. Since then, the program has grown to include more lunch, gym class and recess gatherings that have strengthened the bonds between students and officers.
“I’m grateful for all of the officers who have stepped up and taken on an active role in the lives of the children in our community,” Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken said. “Chief McCarthy and the Gloucester Police Department have gone above and beyond to build relationships with students of all ages, and I’m sure the first grade class will be excited to meet their adopted officers.”
As the Kops N Kids program has expanded, participating officers created baseball style trading cards for students to collect, and challenged them to collect all 14. Four students ultimately reached that goal earlier this year, earning rides to school from an officer of their choosing.
With the program continuing to enlist more officers, students will be challenged to collect even more trading cards. Those who successfully collect them all will once again be eligible to earn a ride to school in their favorite officer’s cruiser.
“The Gloucester Police Department, under Chief McCarthy, has gone the extra mile to build relationships with the children of Gloucester, and to begin doing so at an early age,” Superintendent Richard Safier said. “With this new initiative, these relationships will continue throughout the grades. This is sustained community building at the ground level with the key, once again, being relationship building.”