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“Making a kid smile is the best part of my day”: CSPD officer hands out stuffed animals to Pikes Peak area kids

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo.(KRDO)--The Colorado Springs Police Department is handing out more than a smile to kids across the Pikes Peak area. Officer Thomas Polistina said it only takes about three minutes to make someone's day. Since he moved to Colorado Springs in 2020, he's made it his goal to build stronger relationships with kids in our city. It's an act of kindness, that goes a long way. 

"Sometimes is just that, kids playing at a park, or I see mothers pushing their kids in strollers and little kids love fire trucks and police cars so I'll let them sit in my police car, turn the lights on, and off, hear the siren and if it's something I think they would like I always offer," said Officer Polistina

Sometimes, It's a teddy bear, other times it's a sports ball and sometimes it's a dinosaur named Rex. He said building strong relationships with our youth works in everyone's favor.

"They are gonna grow up one day and it's better that they have a strong opinion of police than not. I've taught my own kids that even if something minor happens, they get lost in a mall or at a festival or something like that, you want to look for someone who is dressed like me," said Officer Polistina.

Prior to working in Colorado Springs, officer Polistina worked in Philadelphia. He said this is the first police department he's worked for that encourages acts of kindness like these. 

"It's awesome. It's almost always the best part of the day. Our job is very, I'd say almost entirely negative. Someone is always having their worst day when they call us. When you see a kid smile, and is happy for giving them a sticker, same thing with stuffed animals. Anything that can make them smile is definitely the best part of the day," said Polistina. 

Since moving, Polistina said he's lost count of how many stuffed animals he's given away. Now all the stuffed animals and stickers that are handed out by police officers are donated by the community.

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Andrea Herrera

Andrea is an MMJ and Anchor for Telemundo Surco and KRDO NewsChannel 13. Learn more about her here.


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