OWEGO (WBNG) — Police officers are needed in every community, but Owego is especially grateful for its department.
Warm temperatures brought the kids of East Temple Street out to play kickball and football on Sunday evening. That was until a car interrupted them.
“We have a policy here that when a car comes from any direction a car the kids will yell out ‘car!’ And the kids will jump onto the sidewalks,” said Charles Plater who lives on the road.
But this car came with lights and sirens. Officer Meehan with the Owego Police Department patrols in the area and stopped by to have some fun.
“The officer had came down, saw them, and joined them in a game of 500,” said Plater. “He showed them all the gizmos and gadgets and everything and they were all google-eyed.”
After the fun, Officer Meehan had to return to duty and respond to a call. But just a few minutes later, he was back on East Temple Street, this time with a treat for the whole block.
“He came back and he had ice cream for everyone!” said Plater. “For parents too, because we were all out here, we were enjoying that they weren’t in the house playing Fortnite and Snapchatting.”
Plater is also the Owego Police Commissioner. He says this gesture is what the department is all about.
“That’s what we’re trying to do, instill in the minds of the young that police officers are their friends. Just because a car pulls up with police officer in it, you don’t have to panic and have your blood pressure go up,” said Plater.
While a connection was made, a lesson was also learned.
“Everything is not just doom and gloom all the time. There’s fun involved and if they can see that side of it, they’re like ‘oh yeah I want to grow up to be a police officer, I want to grow up to be an EMS worker,'” said Plater.
Owego Police Chief Joseph Kennedy says the department is trying to engage more within the community, and was pleasantly surprised to see Officer Meehan’s gesture.