Editorial: Lunch initiative will strengthen relationships

Published 9:51 am Monday, February 20, 2017

This month, students at elementary schools within the Albert Lea school district have had the opportunity to come in contact with Albert Lea police officers through a new initiative.

The program, called Lunch with a Cop, gets officers out into the schools on a more casual basis to visit and eat lunch with the children.

The initiative’s goal is to create new relationships and improve on existing relationships with local youth.

We commend the Police Department and school officials for coordinating these visits, and we hope that through this program, children can see for themselves that officers are regular people, too. They should not be scared to approach them, and they can rely on them in case they need help.

From what we’ve heard about the outreach program thus far, it has been a big success, and parents, too, have expressed that they are appreciative.

This is a great example of community policing in action.

The officers will attend lunches on a rotating basis at all of the Albert Lea public elementary schools through the end of the school year.