By Jeff Todd
ARVADA, Colo. (CBS4) – Arvada police are hoping a new program will create positive interactions between officers and children in the community.
“We washed the rocks. We painted the rocks and we’re mini want-to-be Picassos putting all these rocks together,” said Nancy Mayer, President of the Citizens Police Academy Alumni Association. “Arvada has like 50 parks, so there were quite a few volunteers who took these rocks and put them in parks.”
More than 60 rocks are now “hidden in plain sight” at parks around the city. The idea is for families to search for rocks, take a picture, then re-hide them in the park.
Many rocks are painted with officers, badges, or shields on them. A few are painted black with a blue line.
The Arvada Police Department is offering prizes if those rocks are found.
“Watching the families and the kids come in and meet the police officers and spread kindness around the community. It’s a good way to get the kids out and have some fun,” said Natalie Blackie who helped start the program.
Daphne Martonosi found a rock, and after posting it to Facebook, she got a prize.
“We went back there, and I was looking around for my rock and I found it,” she said.
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“It’s a good experience for her to come down to the police station and get to see the kind of police officers. It was an awesome experience. It was really neat for her to be able to do this,” said Daphne’s dad, Attila Martonosi.
Police say communities with closer relationships with police have lower crime rates. They’re hoping the Cop Rocks Program can help build relationships.
LINK: Arvada Cop Rocks Program
Jeff Todd joined the CBS4 team in 2011 covering the Western Slope in the Mountain Newsroom. Since 2015 he’s been working across the Front Range in the Denver Headquarters. Follow him on Twitter @CBS4Jeff.