Operation Candy Cane

Covington Police Department's Operation Candy Cane Hits South Salem Elementary School
Posted on 12/21/2018
Police Officer Giving Candy to Elementary StudentStudents at South Salem Elementary School were treated to candy, smiles, hugs, high-fives, and holiday music as part of the Covington Police Department’s (CPD) Operation Candy Cane. In all, seven CPD officers took time from their busy schedules to stop by the school December 19 to bring holiday cheer to the students.

“Many times the first contact children have with an officer is when something bad has happened,” said Sgt. Victor Partee. “We wanted to change that. With Chief (Stacey) Cotton’s blessing, we came up with Operation Candy Cane so the students would have a positive first experience with our officers.”

During the event, every student in the school met the officers and received candy canes and chocolates. Some gave the officer hugs and high fives in return. Then, the students boarded Main Street Trolleys’ South Pole Express for a tour and a chance to sing holiday songs with the charismatic conductor.

“The students had a wonderful time,” said Terran Newman, principal of South Salem Elementary School. “They were very excited to meet the officers and it was obvious the officers enjoyed interacting with the students.”

According to Partee, Operation Candy Cane isn’t the first time the CPD has partnered with South Salem Elementary School.

“It all started at Thanksgiving when Officer Pitts and I were asked to attend Thanksgiving lunch with some kindergarten students who would be eating alone,” Partee explained. “After learning about some of the children’s stories, we invited seven of them to our ‘Shop With a Cop’ program. The smiles you get from the kids make it very special and we just wanted to do more. So we came up with Operation Candy Cane so we could meet and have a positive impact on all of the students at the school.”

“When the owners of Main Street Trolleys’ heard about our plan they asked if they could join us,” Partee added.

Considering the success of the program, Partee said he hopes Operation Candy Cane becomes a yearly event.

“We’d love to make more appearances at the school,” he said. “We want the kids to know that we are here to help.”