Agencies forging relationships

Colin Tiernan photos
Yovanni Rivera crushes a couple of cones as he makes his way through an obstacle course while Wyoming Highway Patrol Trooper Adam Brunning grabs the wheel to assist Rivera in getting back on the course during Law Enforcement Kids/Family Day at Glenrock Town Park Sept. 15.

Colin Tiernan

Glenrock Town Park was swarming with cops last Saturday, Sept. 15. A handful of Converse County Sheriff’s Deputies, decked out in their beige gear, hung about by the softball field. Wyoming Highway Patrol Officer Adam Brunning, surrounded by traffic cones, held down the far end. Two Glenrock fire engines, one with its ladder partially extended, sat on the edge of the parking lot, with an ambulance lined up behind them.
The park was swarming with kids, too. Kids holding a snow cone or a cotton candy in one hand while with the other they chucked footballs, drove highway patrol golf carts through a makeshift course or sprayed fire hoses.
On a nearly immaculate day – it was a bit hot for mid-September – the Glenrock Police Department hosted its annual Law Enforcement Kids/Family Day. Hundreds turned out for the event. Kids slid down a bouncy slide (and usually climbed up the bouncy stairs half a dozen times before tiring), bounced in a bouncy castle, tried on bulletproof vests seven sizes too big that engulfed them and played a host of carnival-style games.
Most importantly, the kids got to meet the men and women who keep them safe.
“This is just a day that they can come and have fun and interact with us in the most positive way possible,” Glenrock Interim Police Chief Jason Hoppa said. “It’s just about them and having fun.”
It wasn’t just the kids who enjoyed the day.
“It’s a lot of fun,” Converse County Sheriff’s Office Detention Deputy Andrew Smartt said, when he got a break from sliding bulletproof vests on and off kids. “It shows the softer side, that we’re here to help people . . . You get to hang out with people and see them at their best, not their worst.”
The inflatable mini golf and alien shooter game aren’t what the kids seem to like most about the event.
“We like to come to see all the cops,” Kaylin Steele, mother of four, said with a laugh. “And one of my sons wants to be a fireman, so it’s always fun to get to come and talk with the firemen and encourage him.”
Aspiring fireman Kolby Steele didn’t mince words when describing his favorite part of the day.
“I got to spray the fire hose,” he said.
Glenrock Volunteer Fire Department Captain Shon Lindsey was the man helping the kids work the fire hose.
“It’s a very good event,” Lindsey said. “It’s good to get the kids out here.”
Overall, the Glenrock Police Department puts on the event in order to build relationships with the next generation.
“It’s important for us to have good rapport with our kids,” Glenrock Interim Police Chief Jason Hoppa said. “They’re our future, and so we really strive to make those connections, make them positive ones.”


Glenrock Independent

Physical Address:506 W. Birch, Glenrock, WY 82637 Mailing Address: PO Box 109, Douglas, WY 82633 Phone: (307) 436-2211

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