Seems like another lifetime.
The picture is of an officer (Robert Meyerholz) from the city where I spent my childhood, New Haven, Connecticut. Some officers (such as the one pictured) made it a point to get out of their patrol cars and visit with neighborhood children; well, when they were still neighborhoods. People got out and visited; children played outside all day. Most importantly, looked out for each other, and especially the children. “It takes a village to raise a child.” Just sayin’!
I spent twenty-five years in the projects (1960-1985/East Ramsdell St.), and remember the police officers getting out of their patrol cars and talking to us kids. My behavior had to be redirected several times (lol), and as a result, I have been in the law enforcement/security profession since 1976, starting with the U.S. Army.
Worked as an officer with Yale Medical Center (New Haven, Connecticut) for about nine and a half years, from 1984-1993 (When they were still police officers.) Guess they lost their “law enforcement” status in 2005, which was a result of a disagreement with the former mayor. Used to get out of my patrol car and walk Howard and Congress Avenues, Cedar Street, etc., and would find kids riding their bikes at 2:00 AM (sometimes as young as 5-years-old).
This was at the height of the Crack epidemic and one parent would be in jail, and the other; well, I do not know where they were. It was sad. Police officers have a unique chance of influencing kid’s lives, and I wish we heard more of those stories in the media. Sorry for going-on about this, but it is something that brings out the passion in me.
I am currently still working as a law enforcement officer for the Federal Reserve. It is not traditional law enforcement, and I do not have the same contact with the community. I find that sad.