A photo showing a Chester County officer having fun with children has gained national attention and recognition.
The Department of Justice's Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) has announced Coatesville as the winner of its June photo contest.
In the winning photograph, a Coatesville officer is seen running through a local splash pad with a group of children.
"We encourage 'park and walks' where officers get out of their cars and get into the community—whether it’s playing basketball or checking on the local businesses. We encourage that and we’ve been pretty successful." Coatesville Police Chief Jack Laufer said about the picture.
After winter storm damage left the water playground closed for maintenance, its reopening last month attracted a crowd of children, parents, and city officials.
The officer, who requested to remain anonymous, voluntarily decided to join the kids in front of city leaders, media members, and the public.
"It's not about one officer being involved in community policing, it’s about the whole department." Chief Laurer stated regarding the officer's anonymity.
The COPS Office began the photo contest two years ago in an effort to highlight positive community policing efforts across the country. After receiving an overwhelming amount of entries, the COPS office decided to make the contest an annual event.
The Coatesville Police Department is one of the 12 winners of this year's contest, and their water fun was chosen to represent the month of June.