It’s not hard to hold the attention of young schoolchildren when you show them a Dutch Shepherd that can – like a circus performer – jump five feet to catch a rubber ball.
“Higher! Higher!” a crowd of giddy kindergarten and first-graders at the Normandy Park School in Morris Township screamed Wednesday morning as Morris County Sheriff’s Office K-9 Section Detective Marc Adamsky demonstrated for them the skills of his K-9 partner, Tim, a 2-year-old Dutch Shepherd.
Morris County Sheriff James M. Gannon and Detective Adamsky joined police, firefighters and an emergency management coordinator at Normandy Park School as part of its “Cool To Be Kind” Community Day that introduced young students to the officials who help keep them safe.
“Hi, I’m Jim. I’m your Sheriff,” Sheriff Gannon introduced himself to the students gathered outdoors, where earlier in the day they inspected Morristown and Morris Township patrol cars and a Morris Township Fire Department ladder truck.
“We help your police. You heard from your police from the town of Morristown and Morris Township. And your firefighters. We help them with special things,” Sheriff Gannon said.
He explained that his office has a “SWAT” team, a crime scene unit and a K-9 section – all build-up to Tim’s appearance, which was met with a loud, collective “Aww.”
Morristown Acting Police Chief Darnell Richardson and his wife, Nikki, a teacher at the Normandy Park School, helped organize the event as the culmination of the K-5 school’s yearlong theme of being “Cool To Be Kind” by demonstrating caring, support and appreciation of others. The Morris Education Foundation sponsored the “Cool To Be Kind” initiative.
Sheriff Gannon and Detective Adamsky fielded questions from the children about the Sheriff’s Office and Tim, while Morristown Police Lieutenant Keith Cregan, Morris Township Firefighter John Zaragoza, Morris Township Police Officer Robert Ribnicky and Morris County Office of Emergency Management Deputy Coordinator Keith Heimberg gave the children insight into their jobs and let them step inside their vehicles.
Lieutenant Cregan discovered that the children have a good idea of what robbers and speeders do.
“The kids also asked about tornados after last night’s alerts were sent out,” he said.
Detective Adamsky also related how the Morris County Sheriff’s Office K-9 Section transformed a frisky dog that wouldn’t behave into a first-class explosives-detecting K-9. A lesson, he said, that there is a place for everyone and everything.