To the Editor:
We recently visited Rockwell Park in Bristol with our grandchildren. At first, we were a bit apprehensive to go there because we had heard in the past that the park had developed an unsavory reputation. We were, however, pleasantly surprised at how clean and welcoming the park was, and our grandchildren thoroughly enjoyed the playground and splash pad. A few older children using the skate park were, we noted, quiet and polite.
We were especially pleased to observe police officer George Franek, a community resource officer, interacting with the children, blowing bubbles with them, and demonstrating the lights and equipment on his John Deere vehicle.
Officer Franek explained to us that his “beat” is the park, and his assignment is to interact with park visitors, including the children, as part of a new neighborhood program initiated by the chief of police and the mayor’s office. While we were speaking with him, a group of small children being led by their adult chaperones filed past, each child happily waving him goodbye and giving him high-fives.
We applaud this neighborhood initiative and hope that it will give Bristol and its parks a more positive image.
Joseph Geladino and Nancy Toffolon