The Community Affairs officers of the Sylvania Township Police Department were recently recognized by channel 13 ABC as First Responders of the Week.
They were nominated by the Sylvania School District for the honor, although their duties go beyond their work in the schools within the township. Tim Zieroff, assistant superintendent of Sylvania Schools, said his admiration for the department goes back to when he was principal of Arbor Hills Junior High School.
“They seemed to always be in the building. In the cafeteria at meals, just talking to a youngster in the hallway, For some of the students, seeing an officer might create some anxiety, but after a time you could see that anxiety fade.”
He acknowledged that community affairs isn’t what many people think of when they think of first responders, “but I know how important their work can be and I know how important the kids are to the Sylvania Township police so I just decided they deserved to be nominated.”
Lt. Sarah Toth, head of the Sylvania Township Police community affairs department, said, “I know it’s not a big fire or a car crash, but if a kid is in crises, that’s an emergency and our community affairs officers will respond. They may be the first to respond, and because of earlier relationships they may be the most effective.”
She noted that the officers in her department are responsible for other types of duty such as meeting with businesses to discuss crime prevention matters, hosting “coffee with a cop” programs and other community outreach efforts.
“Covid-19 has curtailed some of our efforts recently, but there’s still plenty to do,” When they aren’t called on to be elsewhere, the lieutenant said, the three officers of community affairs will likely be found in one of the school buildings in the township.
“They are police officers. They’ll respond as necessary, but they’re not there for a problem. They go because they enjoy the interaction and want to support and guide the kids,” she said.
The three officers designated as First Responders of the Week are Jeff Matuszewski, Dan Krajicek, and Bob Snow.
Written by: Mike Jones, Public Information Officer
Posted: January 4, 2021
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