We had our final today's Books & Badges Holiday Event at Fedderson Community Center with Columbus Division of Police Deputy Chief Tim Becker and Lieutenant Chris Lieb. This was Chief Becker's final Books & Badges reading, as he's retiring from CPD in two weeks after 34 years of service.
But what a way to finish his contribution to the program he helped start: Fedderson is where he walked across the stage and graduated from the police academy. In fact, he read to the children in the exact same room. No, we did not plan it! It was one of those happy accidents, and even he wasn't aware of it until he was nearly at the center this morning. Fedderson was re-named in 1995, so when we asked him to come to "Fedderson," he didn't think about it at first. The kids were thrilled to hear that was the room where he officially became a police officer.
The children at Fedderson were amazing in every way--definitely some of the smartest we've ever encountered. Chief Becker quipped that they were all on their way to being engineers, like Starfish volunteer, Jack Carlin.
They had answers to almost every question Chief Becker and Lt Lieb asked them, and in fact, they pointed out some things on their own--such as an additional reason not to touch a gun if you find one is that it might have been used in a crime and then the police might not be able to catch the criminal. (Yes! A little girl came up with that on her own. We were very proud of her.) Super bright children.
Thanks to Columbus Recreation and Parks Department for letting us do this series of Holiday Parties and AEP Ohio for sponsoring them. (We're so sorry the weather-related events prevented you from attending. We hope you're able to get some rest.)
Books & Badges is a program that brings a lot of joy to many people, and Chief Becker played a crucial role in its success. We will be forever grateful to him for that.
Thank you, Tim.