YPD helps cupid make special deliveries

story tease

By Joe Gorman



Usually, when several uniformed police officers are in one room, they turn heads – and not for a good reason.

But not so Wednesday at Chaney High School, as officers gave out candy and flowers to several students, leaving a lot of smiles in their wake when they left.

“It felt great,” student Dymond Warren said. “I wasn’t expecting this. It was a great surprise.”

Officers on the department’s day turn and some from the Community Police Unit also made deliveries to East, Cardinal Mooney and Ursuline high schools as well as to senior citizens at Norton Manor and Gutknecht Towers.

Giannios Candy helped by donating the gifts for the officers.

Isabella Snyder, a cheerleader for Youngstown State University, also accompanied the officers.

Lt. Frank Rutherford, who is one of the day-turn supervisors, and officer George Wallace came up with the idea, saying they wanted to recognize kids who might feel bad because they feel they are left out of other activities.

Both Rutherford and Wallace, as well as the other officers who participated in the event, were touched by the reactions of the students who received gifts.

“It was nice to see the kids get a lot of joy out of it,” Wallace said.

Tammy Robles was speechless when she received her Valentine gifts.

Benjamin Velazquez said: “This is great. I appreciate it.”

Julie Clark, the assistant principal who called the students to receive their gifts, said it was a great way to start the day.

“It was amazing,” Clark said. “My heart was filled with joy. It’s going to build their self-esteem and put a smile on their faces all day long.”

Jason Ray, the dean of students at the school, said the event was very uplifting and appreciated by the students. Ray said sometimes the students get a bad rap, but they are like kids everywhere and appreciate a good gesture from people.

“We have great kids in the Youngstown schools and great law enforcement,” Ray said. “It was really good this morning seeing everybody come together for the common good.”

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