Riverdale hosts Cop Stop cookout

Students and teachers took some time off from learning last week to prepare a meal for Germantown’s finest. Joseph Bond and his administrative team fired up the grill to offer the officers hamburger and hotdog fair. The officers, along with teachers, sat and ate together outside at picnic tables. Joanna Young, the Receptions Committee Chair for the Riverdale PTSA, was on hand to help with the ‘reception’ of the officers. Young, as it turns out, is also the original source for the “Cop Stop” model.

The Cop Stop started with Young and her family cooking a weekly dinner for the local policemen and women in Germantown, TN. "It is a simple way to show our law enforcement how appreciated they are," she writes in her blog. The movement has gained traction all over the Memphis area and beyond. Many people may not realize, however, that the Cop Stop was inspired by events right here in the Germantown Municipal School District.

Our team recently interviewed Young about the inspiration and importance of the gesture.

What inspired you to begin Cop Stops?
Cop Stop started as a conversation with an officer at Riverdale Park where I pick my kids up from school. After seeing him for several months helping with dismissal traffic, we became friends and I invited him and the other officers in our district over to our house for dinner one Friday night. My husband and I decided it was something we wanted to continue to do for them and it took off from there.

Why is it important for children to participate in Cop Stops at schools?
It's important for children to participate in Cop Stops at schools because it allows the children to get to know officers who serve in their community; it gives the children a chance to serve those who serve us; and it helps them to see police officers aren't people the children should be afraid of...they are friends that can be trusted.

Joanna Young
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