OTIS, Mass. (WWLP) – Hundreds of students in the Berkshire County hilltown of Otis began their weekend with fist bumps and high fives with Otis police officers.
It was Otis Police chief Roberta Sarnacki who came up with the idea, after Northampton’s police initiative was cancelled by the school department after complaints from some parents.
“I just felt it was unfortunate that Northampton wasn’t able to continue this program that Chief Kasper started for the kids. It was just unfortunate the way it ended up being,” said Sarnacki.
Parents told 22News they have no problem with their children high fiving police officers at the end of the school week.
Neesha Dolan’s two children both attend Farmington Regional Elementary School in Otis.
“I think it’s a great idea, it’s going to break down the barriers between children and the police of the police.I don’t think there’s anything wrong with it,” said Dolan.
Farmington River Regional principal Thomas Nadolny had his finger on the pulse of parental reaction days before the launching of High Five Friday.
“Our only response has been from social media and phone calls from parents all put in support of this effort for our chief of police,” said Nadolny.
It’s unclear whether High Five Friday will continue indefinitely, but police and parents seem to agree. It will be a Friday tradition, at least for the foreseeable future.