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Steve Smith

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March 20, 2017 @ 12:00am

Well, just like working out, it has been a while since the last blog.  A lot of different excuses, our platform was going through some changes, but none of them really pass the mustard.  Back to it.

Earlier this winter, the local police department and the YMCA partnered to help break down barriers between kids and the police.  It was one of those wow moments.

Our staff heard one of our children in our 4 year old kindergarten rooms talking about the police in a negative light.  We don’t know the personal story of the child or that family.  Maybe there have been visits to the house or the child just picked up on mom and dad’s thoughts.  We do know that our staff were troubled by the statement and started to figure out what to do.

Over several weeks, our proud members of our police department came to the Y in plain clothes.  They played with the kids in the rooms.  They read books to the children.  They had a good time.  Then, one day, they showed up in the classroom in full uniform.  The kids were surprised.  The person who had been there one moment just like their mom or dad was now standing in front of them as policeman or policewoman.  They even got to go out and turn on the siren in the car!

We live in interesting times.  It has been hard on the police departments around the country, ours included.  We have figured out ways to drive wedges between the pillars of our communities that weren’t there before.  Barriers!

One of the things that I love about the YMCA is that we are the community.  Rich and poor.  Bankers, police, firefighters, manufacturers, service industry, clergy, etc. all show up at the Y.  We break down barriers each day.

Hopefully, our kids are able to think about the police in a new light.

See you at the Y!

Steve Smith, CEO  

About the author: Craig McHugh
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