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Lunch with a cop

When Police officers join elementary students for lunch, an unlikely bond formed.

One a fall day, Police Officer Brian Yusaka entered Ridgewood Elementary school with two sack lunches in his hand. Today, he was joining his 9-year-old buddy, Nate, for lunch. Over a chicken sandwich and French fries, the two unlikely friends attracted a lot of attention around the school room cafeteria.

For many elementary school kids, the only time they see a police officer is when something bad happens. Keith Hazen, General Manager at Collision Repair Center wanted to create an environment where kids see cops as a friendly face instead of a bad omen. And what’s better than bonding over French fries?

That’s why Collision Repair, the police department, and several local schools have adopted the “Lunch With a Cop” program. Here’s how it works: the schools choose the students, Collison Repair Center buys the lunch, and Police Officers join their new friends at the school caffeteria. 

“It’s an awesome opportunity for our students to see officers as a friendly face,” said Ridgewood principal Heidi Lensing. The kids are now excited to see their cop friends, and crowd around Nate and Yusaka’s table. “If we get a police officer in a school every day, that school will be the safest place,” said officer Yusaka.

If this sounds like something your school district should do, corporate and individual sponsorship is welcome and totally tax deductible. Call Keith at Collision Repair Center at 309-796-1100 if you have questions, or if you want to help out.

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