ALLENTOWN, Pa. – The bases are loaded in a tennis-ball game at Lehigh Parkway Thursday afternoon. For Constable James Stanko of the Allentown Police Department, his reason for being here is simple.
“Once we get to know them, once they get to know us, they realize we’re pretty much all the same,” Stanko said.
It’s the home run they hope for by playing games and outdoor activities with the kids at the Allentown Police Department Youth Summit Camp. The Allentown Police Track League has partnered with the Youth Academy to combine funding and make it happen.
“We decided to give these kids, who we’ve known for years, a call, to talk to their parents and there wasn’t a single parent who objected. Have fun,” L said. ‘Agent Matt Geake.
Some children come back year after year.
“It’s fun because instead of staying at home and playing video games, you can go out, enjoy the good weather and talk to new people,” said Jayleen Huertas, who everyone calls peanut. .
“I love it. I have bonded very closely with all of the cops here and they are like family to me now,” said Troyell Miller, a member of the Police Academy.
The department plans a host of activities during the summer study program in the hopes of giving children a safe space to play and communicate.
“As a public figure, as a police officer and a public servant, you want them to see behind your uniform, behind your badge. You want them to see the person behind,” Stanko said.
“It’s a relationship that has been going on for years and I’m sure it will continue for quite a while,” Geake said.