. - Buddies in Blue are still at it.
Since launching in February - in part because of #MollysKids! - a crew of about fifteen CMPD officers have been visiting kids in Charlotte hospitals. All ranks. Patrol to homicide detectives to lieutenants.
Dave Harris (who works in operations command) is helping organize this. He had the idea and after talking about the concept he made the whole thing happen.
"So many kids say they want to meet police officers, that we figured volunteering and getting in the hospitals in a grass-roots way might help bring smiles," he said. "We've been to both Levine Children's Hospital and Hemby St. Jude three times each now in just a few months. We've met some incredible children."
He guessed they'd come across 40-50 kids total, including Bryson, from Hickory. That's the boy you see in the pictures. He's waiting for a heart and has been at Levine's for seven months. He likes playing Connect Four with Officer Kenia Restrepo, who has participated in every visit so far.
I'll post another picture below in comments of Bryson playing with Addy, one of the K-9 officers. (Yes! They took the dogs in too!)
Lt. Harris says the officers take in stickers, tattoos, coloring books and now even have a huge supply of teddy bears thanks to the Charlotte Checkers.
"The officers are great," Lt. Harris said. "We all really love it. I've watched friends swallow their pride to make kids smile. Like, one buddy just danced to a Justin Bieber song with Bryson. It's as much fun for us as it is for the kids."