JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — It was an event to build relationships between kids and the Onslow County Sheriff’s Office.
Operation Jumpstart did just that Sunday in Richlands Steed Park in Jacksonville. Officials with the sheriff’s office said it’s important to start forming this bond at a young age. Despite getting off to a slow start because of the rain, Operation Jumpstart was a hit with both the kids and sheriff’s officers.
“We came out to play on the bounce houses and support our local law enforcement,” said Cyndi Bryan.
Bryan and her daughter Carlee came out to the park today to partake in some of the fun while also joining in on the initiative.
“We’re doing Operation Jumpstart here today,” said Sgt. James Seifert with the Onslow County Sheriff’s Office. “It’s awesome just to bridge the gap with the community and with these kids.”
Seifert is also a school resource officer in the county. He said it’s crucial to build these connections with the community and especially with the kids.
“It’s important to start in those young adolescents,” said Seifert. “If you can get involved with youth at a younger age to change what they’re being taught and what they’ve seen on tv. That’s the biggest thing.”
Even though school is out for the summer, Onslow County Sheriff Hans Miller wants his deputies to stay in touch with students.
“If we can do that and we get people to show up here, we’ll let people know that we will play with them,” said Miller. “We’ll have fun and we will let them know that we are supportive of their fun and summer.”
The biggest takeaway from the day was that deputies want the community to know that they are just people, too. And that they are here to keep you and your children safe.
“My favorite part is seeing my guys out of uniform and actually interacting not in a law enforcement capacity,” said Seifert. “That’s what we’re trying to drive home, bridging that gap between the youth. They now get to see us out of uniform and to them that is a change. They’re like, ‘Wow, I can be myself too.’”
The Onslow County Sheriff’s Office will host two more summer events. The next will be held on July 25 at Deppe Park and then again on August 8 at Hubert By-Pass Park. The events will run from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on both dates.