Date: October 19, 2016
When the members arrived at the Huizenga Club on Saturday October 1st they probably thought something was wrong. There were uniformed police officers from all over South Florida everywhere in the club. It didn’t take long for them to discover that something was very right. The officers were chatting with members over pizza and donuts, enjoying some friendly competition in the gym and game rooms, and most importantly, sharing a lot of laughs and smiles.
The day integrated fun and a positive interaction with a caring adult — two proven ingredients of the Boys & Girls Club formula for positive youth development. It was also free flowing with opportunity, but no pressure on the members or the officers to participate. When Sgt. Daynish gave the order that morning, it was simple, “Have fun out there.” The cautious distance that separated them quickly gave way to curiosity and the bonding began. At that point, they were all just people enjoying together.
Sargent Frank Daynish and Tiffany Arthur of Adopt A Cop USA recruited officers from as far away as Boynton Beach to come to Hollywood and just have a fun day with members. One of those officers was Shayna Rodriguez a club alumna fresh out of the police academy. Frank retired from the Boynton Beach police force after 25 years of service. An incident in his 24th year inspired the creation of Adopt A Cop. While on a domestic violence call, the suspected perpetrator recognized Frank as the officer who had visited his 6th grade class years before. The situation was resolved peacefully and resulted in the young man receiving the help he needed.
There is no question that widely publicized stories in the media have formed negative impressions. Both the Boys & Girls Clubs and Adopt A Cop hope that the experience enables the youth and the officers to see the best in each other and ultimately leads to better relations between law enforcement and the community.
Thank you Adopt A Cop and your volunteers for spending quality time with our members.