ALLEGANY — For the past few years, Allegany-Limestone Central School District Superintendent Tony Giannicchi and Middle-High School Principal Kimberly Moore have made sure area police are honored during the annual Law Enforcement Appreciation Day celebrations.
This year, despite pandemic challenges, was no exception.
Moore, as in the past, coordinated a drive-through luncheon Monday for area law enforcement officers in the parking lot of the middle-high school building. The event has been conducted by the district annually in conjunction with National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day.
Local law enforcement officers were not only honored with delicious take-out meals, but also were welcomed with signs and greetings by staff and some students, as the district is currently providing remote instruction to youngsters due to pandemic concerns.
“Law Enforcement Appreciation Day was a challenge with no students on campus and limiting our contact with people,” Giannicchi said. “We brainstormed some ways to honor our officers and came up with a drive-through lunch pick-up. We have great, caring (School Resource Officers) in our buildings and our local law enforcement officers are always willing to work with our kids in and out of school, so it was nice to show them some appreciation for everything they do.”
He praised Moore for once again organizing the event, which turned out to be “a nice positive experience for everyone.”
For her part, Moore said the event “was a little bit of a different recognition this year, but the MHS cafeteria staff and Mrs. Rhonda Herbert packed one hefty appreciation lunch” for Allegany Police Department officers, New York State troopers, SROs and Cattaraugus County Sheriff’s Office deputies. Allegany-Limestone SRO Vic Arena helped coordinate the event, as well.
“We’ve done more full-blown recognitions, but there wasn’t any other way for us to do it this year,” Moore explained. “We didn’t want to let that day go by without acknowledging them.
“They have a hard job just like everybody during this time.”
Moore said one child who attended the outside event and honored the officers was Sterling Prince, the daughter of Trooper Kevin Prince.
“Our school allows parents who have children who need daycare to bring their kids into work if they need to,” Moore explained. “Her mom was subbing (for the district) and brought her daughter into work that day.”
Moore said the district was appreciative that the officers arranged their schedules to visit the campus, even if just for a short while.
“What was nice was they said ‘Thank you for what you’re doing,” it was just a nice moment,” she added. “Even though Covid is still raging in the area, just to be able to take that moment” was gratifying for all.
She said the cafeteria staff, who provide vocational students with a hot breakfast and lunch each day, were able to pack the officers large lunch bags containing sandwiches, homemade cookies, apple sauce, fruit, an ice cream sandwich and drink. In the past, the cafeteria provided catered food for the officers inside.
“All of the police stopped for a moment and congregated in their vehicles (after lunch) to eat their ice cream sandwiches, and then went on their way,” she concluded.
(Contact reporter Kate Day Sager at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter, @OTHKate)