Meet Clearwater Police Department’s ‘Officer Friendly’

Something Good

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – The Clearwater Police Department recently posted a video on the agency’s Facebook page that captured the moment an officer drove by a daycare center to say hi to kids he used to read to once a month.

The officer behind the camera is Officer James Frederick Jr., a Navy veteran who has been with CPD for 11 years. He’s not been able to read with the kids since February.

“We’ve all had to change some things during this pandemic, so we couldn’t read with them like we normally do, so just being able to see me come in my patrol car, it made their day,” Officer Frederick said.

It made his day, too. As a community liaison, or “Officer Friendly,” Frederick’s job is to build positive and effective relationships with those the police department serves.

“That means we have to better understand our community, what their needs are, what their desires are, what they want out of us,” he said.

Frederick Jr. said he’s also serving as a role model for young people and hopes children see him as an example of what they too can become.

“A lot of them are our future police officers, firefighters, doctors, and lawyers, so it’s a great lesson to us as officers that these are the young people coming up behind us and these are the ones that matter the most,” he said.

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