By Anne Eickstadt

ANNE EICKSTADT PHOTO Belvidere Daily Republican
The YMCA kids presented a banner to Officer Tim as a ‘thank you’ to the police department. Officer Tim is behind the banner, which is behind all the kids.


Belvidere Family YMCA’s Executive Director Jennifer Jacky and staff had everything organized for Lunch with a Cop. Several kids were delegated to greet guests who arrived for the event, which was sponsored by Boone County Crimestoppers. Tables were set with napkins, water bottles, and bags of potato chips, and the kitchen had hot dogs on rolls ready for everyone in the full room.

Officer Blankenship aka Officer Tim aka Officer Friendly was welcomed and he greeted several of the kids on his way in the door. He came to the Y to discuss how the police protect us everyday and tell the kids what they can do to help the police continue to make Boone County safe.

Despite all efforts by the staff to maintain decorum and control in the room, the excitement level was so high that Officer Tim’s presentation was quickly changed to a question and answer session. Many of the kids couldn’t wait to ask a real police officer about things they wanted to know and hands were raised all over the room.

Officer Blankenship has been a member of the Belvidere Police Dept. for 19 years. He has worked both day shift and night shift and has trained 17 police officers since he has been on the force. After assuring several of the children that he has never killed anyone, he was able to ask a few questions of his own.

“Has anyone here ever called the police?” and “What are some of the things the police do to help people?”

“Sometimes people get lost and the police can give them directions or give them a ride. We can help children who are lost find their parents or get home. We can help change a tire. We make traffic stops to keep the roads safe and keep crashes down. You can get hurt in a crash.

“How can the police tell if someone is speeding?

For complete article, pick up the July 22 BDR.

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