We had a great Books & Badges event at Glenwood Community Center today. Columbus Division of Police Deputy Chief Tim Becker will be retiring on January 13 after 34 years of service, and he's trying to fit in a few more Books & Badges readings before he goes. The program has always been dear to his heart--he was the person who presented it to the Chief for approval--and he's always joined us for as many readings as he could, even before he joined the Starfish board in February 2020.
Chief Becker's favorite book to read is Where the Sidewalk Ends, and every child went home with a copy. They even asked for an "encore" poem after Chief Becker was done. They also asked all the officers (and some of the non-officers) to autograph their books.
This Books & Badges at Glenwood was particularly special because Chief Becker grew up on the Hilltop and was able to talk to the children about what his life was like there as a kid. He was joined by Starfish Board Members Nicole Banks, Thomas Spyker, and Lieutenant Chris Lieb, as well as Officers Ed Chung and James Poole.
The officers answered questions about policing--the jail was an interesting topic for the kids, and so was pepper spray. They also liked the new body cameras, which can be demonstrated on the officers' phones, so the children got to see themselves on the phone screen.
Our friends at AEP Ohio are sponsoring lunches for five Books & Badges events across the city this week. The timing couldn't have been worse for them, as we know they've had a really tough time with the weather. We were hoping some of the line workers could visit as well, but that might need to wait until another time. Nonetheless, they treated the officers, kids, and staff to pizza, cupcakes, and oranges!
Thanks to Columbus Recreation and Parks Department for having us, AEP Ohio for the wonderful lunch, and our friends at Columbus Division of Police for another great Books & Badges.