Hanging with the Po Po

For the past six years I have been hanging with the po po...the police. You’ve heard the names they are called. Oh, over the years I have heard words like cops, fuzz, pigs and...po po. Some good descriptions and some not so great. People are quick to find fault in the police departments but seem slow in giving credit.

Well it’s true. I have been hanging with the po po lately. No, not due to incarceration as many would think, but rather due to the Homestead-Miami Speedway. Yes, the President of the track, Matt Becherer has caused me to hang with the police. Well, maybe as forceful as I am...I convinced him to go along with crazy plans!

One of the most rewarding things I have ever done has happened because of the Homestead-Miami Speedway, the Homestead Police Department and this paper. As you read this week’s paper, you will see the faces of some smiling students. These students were the winners of the South Dade News Leader’s NASCAR Art Contest.

The Grand Prize winners received a police escorted ride to school in the pace car from Homestead Miami Speedway while their classmates lined the sidewalks waiting and cheering for them. This takes a lot of planning on how to get the child to school safely. On top of that, it is top secret as the student doesn’t find out until they are picked up!

Officer Victor Agosto, Homestead Police Department, has been in charge of setting up the police escorts now for a few years and it has been such a pleasure to work with him and all the officers involved in the escort. Each officer made sure that the child was treated like royalty. Sirens blared and traffic stopped, all for a child.

This year there were several motorcycle officers as well as numerous police vehicles in the escort. The last day, a little snag in the fact that we were at the wrong building was scary but a text message and phone call to Officer Agosto made it all work out and no one knew the panic that erupted in this old lady. Note to self…I’m too old for this!

So many people talk badly about the local police department. After six years of working with the police on this project, I have to say I am so grateful to have had this opportunity to view the officers in this capacity....loving and caring individuals who will do anything to make a child feel special.

Last Friday was my final delivery as next year I am moving out of the area. As I stood on the curb watching the officers take pictures with the winner, taking their time to talk with the parents, teachers and all involved and hanging around until the student went into school, I felt a tear slide down my cheek and a lump swell up in my throat.

Yes, I’ve been hanging with the Homestead Police Department for the last 6 years and I would like to personally say, “Thank you ladies and gentlemen for all you do for our community. Hanging with the po po has been fun!”