We're not sure what was the biggest hit at yesterday's Fifth Annual Cops & Barbers. Was it the time spent getting great haircuts from amazing barbers? Making crafts with Columbus Division of Police officers? Taking a ride in premier sponsor AEP Ohio's bucket truck? Playing street hockey and receiving a free stick and ball from the Columbus Blue Jackets? Checking out SWAT's Bearcat? Seeing Columbus Division of Fire's truck and going through their Safety House? Hot dogs, snacks, and an ice cold beverage from G&J Pepsi-Cola Bottlers, Inc.? Ohhhh...maybe it was dunking a police officer in the dunk tank? CPD Officer Seth Browning did such a wonderful job there that he got a big hug from a sweet little girl, even though he told her he was soaking wet.
Maybe it was everything put together because where ever you looked at Linden Community Center, there were smiles. Even when there was a brief bit of rain, people stayed and enjoyed themselves. We went through all 300 hotdogs, and we are very proud of that because it means it truly was a community event! (A special thank you to CPD Officer Julien Roffey and Sergeant Andre Tate for their grilling expertise.)
The bucket truck rides were definitely fun, with everyone who wasn't afraid of heights getting a turn. In fact, the lineworkers from AEP Ohio stayed past the end of the event to make sure everyone got a ride. If you ever get a chance to talk to a lineworker, you're in for a treat. All of the ones we've met are very nice and very fun. We made sure to thank them for what they do, because they usually work in horrible conditions. We were really happy to see they brought two trucks and were not expecting that treat!
Inside the center, we gave away 120 backpacks filled with school supplies so children can start the year off right. Boys received haircuts, girls made craft projects with officers and received gift certificates to have their hair styled at a cosmetology school.
At the end of the day, CPD Lieutenant Chris Lieb and Dublin Deputy Chief and Starfish Board Member Nick Tabernik were loading items into a truck as two young boys lingered around them.
We asked if they'd participated in the event and when they said yes we asked what their favorite part was. "Being around the officers," they replied. We so love to hear that.
Thank you to everyone who made this event possible, including the officers and Franklin County Sheriff's Office deputies who attended, the 614cadets, our volunteers, the staff of Columbus Recreation and Parks Department, our community partners, our premier sponsor AEP Ohio, FOP Capital City Lodge #9, Walmart Dublin - Britton Pkwy, CME Federal Credit Union, Byers Auto Group, and G&J Pepsi. We appreciate all of you and the difference you make in the community!