TEWKSBURY, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — The Tewksbury Police Department has created a new contest to connect with local youth.
The department has issued trading cards of 15 officers, including Chief Ryan Columbus, Deputy Chief John Voto, Lieutenant Jim Williams, and three K9 officers. The participating officers will hand out their cards to Tewksbury residents aged 17 and under.
"When we hand [the cards] out to the kids, we try to tell them that it's rare for whatever reason, but the kids really go for the dogs," Lt. Williams told WBZ.
According to the contest's rules, kids can only collect the cards when officers are on-duty, they are not allowed to approach an officer while the officer is near their patrol car with lights activated, and they are not allowed to approach an officer while they are interacting with the public in an official capacity.
After collecting all 15 cards, kids can trade them in at Tewksbury Police headquarters at 918 Main St. for a small prize. They can also win a secret grand prize which will be drawn on Sep. 30.
Williams believes the contest is a way for kids to see police officers in a new light that "isn't police related, so much. They can come to us, talk to us. We get to see what they're like, they get to see what we're like. Really we just want to interact with the kids, show them that there's nothing to be afraid of when they talk to us, that we're people just like they are."
WBZ's Suzanne Sausville (@wbzSausville) reports.