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IMG_5941On March 23, 2021, Student Officer Andrew Whelan of the 70th ROC Plymouth Police Academy was made aware of a Facebook post in a local community page for the town of Plymouth. The post was from a mother in town, who stated that her 5 year old Daughter Stella was currently suffering from some ongoing medical issues, developed new issues from surgery that she was required to have, and she was currently hospitalized at Boston Children’s Hospital. After recently having numerous classes that talked about Community Policing, the 70th ROC jumped at the opportunity to make a difference. Student Officer Whelan spoke with Student Officer Eva Golden, and some ideas were talked about on how we could go about it.

After speaking with Academy Director Goodick and getting the approval to move forward with the ideas and represent the Academy, they were presented to the class. When presented the following day with the ideas and looking for more input from every Student Officer, what started off as something small and simple snowballed in to a much larger effort. Every member of the 70th ROC decided that they wanted to step up and make a difference, making Stella as comfortable as possible when she was able to safely return to her home in South Plymouth. Individual Student Officers went out on their own and bought gifts and get well soon cards for Stella, and numerous Police Departments joined in on the effort as well. Each Police Department represented also donated their Police Patch that is worn on their uniforms, and they were carefully organized and a patch plaque was made by Student Officer Thomas Souza to proudly display all of them.

On Saturday, March 27, 2021, 14 Student Officers from the 70th ROC took the time to hand deliver the toys, gifts, and get well soon cards to Stella. All of the items that were being donated to Stella were stuffed in the back of the Plymouth Police Department’s BEARCAT SWAT vehicle, and a line of Police cruisers followed behind in a parade to the home of Stella. Upon turning on to her street, all of the vehicles activated their emergency lights and sirens, and Stella was waiting out in front of her home. The Bear Cat was parked and the back hatches were opened, and Stella climbed in through the back doors to look at all of her new toys. The Student Officers then showed her how to use the lights and sirens, the PA System, and she got to climb up in to the turret hatch on the top of the BearCat.

Seeing the impact this entire day and all of the generous donations had on Stella, it made each and every Student Officer of the 70th ROC extremely proud to have been a part of it. It opened many eyes to how big of an impact an Officer can make by putting effort in to Community Policing. With everything going on in this country right now with issues involving interactions between Police and citizens, and the trial of Derek Chauvin just concluding, Community Policing now more than ever is extremely important to the profession. We as members of the Law Enforcement community need to go the extra mile to ensure that the public can trust us and know that we serve for the greater good.

Content of this blog respectfully prepared by Student Officer Andrew Whelan- Plymouth PD

Photos respectfully submitted by Academy Director Eileen M. L Goodick

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