First Bigs in Blue program in the region underway

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – It was a big day for some students at Tri-Community Elementary School in Swatara Township, Dauphin County as they met with their new mentors.

“It’s the Bigs in Blue program. It’s the first one for the region. Bigs in Blue is a national program for Big Brothers Big Sisters of America,” Amy Rote with Big Brothers Big Sisters Capital Region said.

The goal is to connect children with mentors; in this case, police who will go inside the school and share a meal or just hang out on the playground with their “littles”.

Sincere Adams is paired with Officer Kenn Platt.

“I think I’m going to have fun with him because he has kids and he likes to play football, and I like to play football, too,” Adams said.

“I thought this was an opportunity, an outreach to the community, especially boys in the community to build a rapport. The law enforcement community has not had a favorable spotlight the last few years and this was an opportunity. I think we could make a difference in our own community,” Platt said.

Bishop Adams and Officer Justin Anderson learned a little about each other.

“I love dealing with kids. I was a probation officer for a lot of years. I just moved over to Swatara Township Police Department a year ago. Actually, that career move was police or elementary school teacher, so it’s the best of both worlds,” Anderson said.

“It’s important that young people know that the profession of police officer is a leadership position and we do care about the people we serve.” Swatara police Chief Jason Umberger said.

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