TOMS RIVER – The Toms River Police Department has been working with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Ocean County (BBBSOC) for 15 years, but recently decided to upgrade that relationship and become the first department in Ocean County to join the “Bigs in Blue” Program.
Bigs in Blue is a national, one-to-one mentoring program that connects local youth with local police officers to build trusting bonds between law enforcement and the families they protect. Toms River Police want to show the community, especially children, that they are here to help, and that prevention and positive role models are essential when it comes to protecting youth in the community.
“Reaching children at a young age through positive role models greatly enhances their chances of success,” said Toms River Police Chief Mitchell Little in a statement.
There is currently waiting list of Ocean County children in need of a mentor in both the community and in school programs that BBBSOC is aware of. These will be the first children to benefit from the Bigs in Blue Program.
A Field Day Kick-Off event was held on July 22 at the Toms River High School East soccer field where these “Littles” and “Bigs,” Toms River police officers participating in the program, were able to meet. The Toms River Police Foundation provided children at the kick-off with a t-shirt, refreshments and sports equipment. Big Brothers Big Sisters of Ocean County CEO Sue Sedivec also invited the public to attend and learn more about the program.
“This is such an exciting time for us and the Toms River Police Department, not to mention the impact that it will have on the children and the community.” said Sedivec said in a statement.
To learn more about the Bigs in Blue Program, visit bbbs.org/bigs-in-blue.