All new Columbus Division of Police officers complete a community service project during their probationary period. Recently, we were asked by Officers Seth Eckel, William Harris IV, and Dwyain Montgomery if we could play a role in theirs. They have all worked on 14 Precinct (Far East Side), an area that is dear to our hearts, and they called a school there, Olde Orchard Elementary, to see if they could help in any way.
Olde Orchard said they needed school supplies and uniforms for their children. The officers responded with enthusiasm, going to Goodwill and Once Upon a Child stores to purchase the clothing with their own money. (This isn't required by CPD, but the officers are so committed to the community that they wanted to do it.) Both stores, when they found out what the officers were doing, also donated some clothes as well.
When the officers came to us, they asked if we could donate 20 bookbags of school supplies. Our mission is that we work with law enforcement officers when they identify needs in the communities that they serve, and those needs have to present themselves in the course of their duties. A community service project where they called the school to see how they could help unfortunately doesn't fit that mission. But, fret not--we loved their enthusiasm and wanted to do what we could. We talked to our friends at AEP Ohio who were very happy to be involved--but we both thought that 20 bookbags of school supplies wasn't enough and went with 50 instead!
We are honored that Officers Eckel, Harris, and Montgomery contacted us, and we look forward to working with them for many years to come.