Angie’s Subs in Jacksonville Beach hosted a “Cops and Kids” event July 21 with Jacksonville Beach police officers and children from Northeast Florida Boys and Girls Club beach campus.
According to Angie’s Subs Owner Ed Malin, the event was funded by a frequent customer who wished to remain anonymous. The donor wrote a check for $2,000 designated to treat police officers to lunch. Malin said he then took it one step further and had the idea to invite children to dine with officers.
“They’re the impressionable ones in our society who see what’s going on with the police today and they’re the ones that need to be taught that cops are just like everybody else,” Malin said. “Some of them are what we would consider at-risk kids, so they’re going to get a chance to talk to a police officer and have a good lunch.”
Jacksonville Beach Police Department Sgt. Keith Shackelford, Sr. was one of the police officers in attendance. Shackelford, who used to be a school resource officer and is the father of three grown children, said he believes having interaction with kids is always good thing.
“I think for the most part kids do see us in a positive light,” he said, “but this just gives (us) a little more interaction with them one on one.”