The Whitemarsh Township Police Department challenged Whitemarsh Elementary School (WE) students to collect nonperishable food for the Colonial Neighborhood Council in Conshohocken. The children responded by bringing in enough food to fill approximately two police cruisers.
"We just wanted to help our community and help everyone to have a happy holiday," said WE Second Grader Noah Pizzi.
"The food pantry is in great need, and we wanted to do all we could to partner with the Whitemarsh Township Police to help," said WE Teacher Simie Krieger.
As a reward, the Whitemarsh Police Officers brought their K-9 unit to the school for an assembly. Officer James Sweeney showed how his police dog, Diesel, could find narcotics. Officer Matthew Stadulis demonstrated explosive detection and patrol with his police dog, Nika.
"My favorite part was all the kids cheering and laughing and being excited to see our dogs and to see the police officers," said Officer Stadulis. "It's always the most rewarding thing."
The officers also showed how strong the dogs were by playing tug-of-war using a chew toy and lifting the dogs off the ground.
"I liked when the dogs spun around," said WE Second Grader Avery Vandergrift. "It was really funny and cool."
The Whitemarsh Township Police Officers are familiar faces to the WE students. The police regularly stop by and visit the school.
"They make us feel protected, and it's really great for the children to see them as members of the community," added Ms. Krieger.