Senator Fred Akshar, Broome County Sheriff David Harder and Children's Home of Wyoming Conference (CHOWC) CEO George Dermody announced a new outreach program that partners local law enforcement with children's community activity programs throughout Broome County.
The program aims to foster positive relationships between the children, students, faculty and staff at the CHOWC and the law enforcement community by building those relationships based on outreach activities ranging from neighborhood clean-up days, bicycle safety lectures, group hiking trips, mentoring, canine demonstrations, planting gardens and preparing meals together.
“One of the best parts of my previous career in law enforcement was developing the friendships and positive relationships with the people in our community whom I proudly served,” said Senator Fred Akshar. “Our community is blessed with a positive relationship with local law enforcement, and it's important we continue and improve that relationship for generations to come. This program will help strengthen our local families' trust and familiarity with law enforcement through communication, personal contact and positive shared experiences.”
Participation from Broome County Sheriff's deputies is completely voluntary, but the first few activities posted at the Sheriff's Office bulletin board just this week have already attracted several volunteer sign-ups.
“We are excited to participate in this program and are looking forward to fostering a meaningful and positive relationship with the Children’s Home,” said Sheriff David Harder. “My hope is that we may be able to provide some positive influence on the children which will ultimately benefit them, the teachers and staff as well as the officers who participate.”
Originally founded in 1912, Children's Home serves as a multi-service child welfare agency that provides social services, housing, child care, clinical, educational medical services and more for at-risk and vulnerable children and their families. Children's Home also provides adoption assistance and foster care under contract with Broome County Social Services.
"We are thrilled and honored to work with the Broome County Sheriff’s Office to support positive interaction between law enforcement and the children and families served by the Children’s Home of Wyoming Conference,” said CHOWC CEO George Dermody. “We are grateful for Sen Akshar’s on going support. We are confident that this program will support improved understanding and cooperation ".
Funding for the program was secured by Akshar in 2016 through a state public protection grant. In addition to helping establish law enforcement community outreach programs, the grant also enabled the Broome County Sheriff's office to purchase Narcan and provide substance abuse counseling at the Broome County Jail.