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Sheriff's department holds meet and greet ADVERTISEMENT

Sheriff's department holds meet and greet

WATKINS GLEN--The Schuyler County Sheriff's Department held a meet and greet Tuesday, July 7 at the Schuyler County Courthouse lawn. Members of the department handed out free water, cookies and hotdogs in an attempt to further connect with the community.
While reinforcing the relationship between the civilians of Schuyler County and the officers within the department is very positive, Undersheriff Breck Spaulding said it is always a good idea for police departments to have outreach with those they protect.
"This is a way for us to give back to the community," Spaulding said. "There [have been] a lot of trying times with issues regarding civilians and police and this is just one way we can say thank you to the community for its support."
Multiple officers from the department, including a K-9, did the best they could on a hot day to remain in the shade as they encouraged people visiting Watkins Glen State Park to stop by and grab a free cookie, hot dog or cold bottle of water.
The first of its kind for the department, Spaulding said Tuesday's meet and greet was designed to humanize police officers so that people realize they aren't just a badge and a gun.
"People stop and socialize with us and get to know us as people instead of just thinking we are a uniform. We are people also," Spaulding said.
Watkins Glen resident Amanda Field brought her children to the event and said she is hopeful that more police departments follow suit.
"My husband is a lieutenant in Tompkins County, and I think events like this are great so that people can get to know police on a personal level instead of just during an emergency," Field said.
Spaulding said that as the first of its kind, Tuesday's meet and greet constituted more of a test case for future outreach events.
"This is a test case, but there is a good chance that we will do more of these kinds of events," Spaulding said.
Along with strengthening relations in Schuyler County, Spaulding said with so many visitors coming to Watkins Glen the meet and greet could also help foster better community relations outside of Schuyler as well.
"We are a huge tourism town so we are hoping we get a lot of people who aren't from Schuyler as well," Spaulding said.

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