Collecting "cop cards’ pays off
“These three kids collected all 15 cards – and that wasn’t easy,” said Avon Police Officer Kara Breci-Fenick. “They did a lot of work to get here today. They’ve earned this pizza.”
The card program, which involved the Avon Police Department and a host of local sponsors, passed out two cards per week to elementary students for eight weeks this spring. The first students to collect the entire set of 15 cop cards were awarded a $20 gift certificate to Wishes Toy Store, as well as lunch with the officer of their choice.
Gilberto Martinez, Michael Marx and Yolanda Flores chowed down on pizza with their dates Tuesday at Avon’s Pazzo’s Pizza, a program sponsor. They even rode from the station to the restaurant in Avon Police Department vehicles – enough to make even a grownup giggle with delight.
“The children picked their officer based on the stats and bios on the backs of each card,” explained Krista Jaramillo, assistant to Police Chief Jeff Layman.
Officer Steve Wineman’s card features him playing soccer on the front, and his quote on the back reads “stay away from drugs and alcohol.”
“I picked Officer Wineman because I like soccer too, and he just seemed like a really nice person,” said 7-year-old Marx.
Martinez chose Officer Steve Hodges while Marx chose Officer Wineman. Flores, meanwhile, chose Officer Breci-Fenick.
“Actually, no one picked me. But I figured since I’m the boss, no one would say anything if I just tagged along,” said Layman as he eyed a pepperoni pie.
When asked what each winner purchased with his or her gift certificate, the answers varied.
“A pack of markers and a rubber-slippy toy,” said Flores with a grin.
It was clear, however, that the real reward of the program was the meal the kids enjoyed with their mentors.
When asked if they would like to be police officers when they grew up, all three answered a resounding “of course.”