NEW BEDFORD, Mass. (WLNE) — Kids in New Bedford received a special greeting as they made their way to class Friday morning.
The bell rang and it was time to head to class. The man greeted students at Rodman Elementary School at the door Friday morning was not a teacher but a police officer.
Patrolman Ryan Bland offered each one of them a friendly high five.
“I got a couple of dabs. A couple no look high fives. A couple of twirls,” said Officer Bland.
This is the second year New Bedford police are participating in the program appropriately called “High Five Friday’s.”
The goal is to strengthen the bond between students and police.
“Very important because we need those positive relationships. We need to know they can trust police officers because kids come from different backgrounds and have different experiences,” said Rodman Elementary School Principal, Kim Marshall.
Last year’s rollout of the program received positive reviews from the students and teachers as well as the police officers who participated.
It takes place once a month and officer Bland says the changes between the start and end of the year are significant.
“It’s that connection. that little bond that you try to build with them especially at this age so that later on in life when they do need certain things they'll be able to realize they can go up to a police officer for help,” said Officer Bland.
The “High Five” program is popular at many elementary schools across the city including Pulaski, Pacheco, and Carney Academy.