Accompanied by ranking State Troopers, the recruits served meals at the McAuley House meal site, painted apartments and landscaped at the McAuley Village transitional housing facility, and helped families and children to paint pumpkins at both facilities.
The recruits service to those in need was outstanding, said McAuley Ministries Executive Director Don Wolfe. Not only did the painting save us $1,000 the equivalent of 500 hot meals the recruits began building a sense of community with those we serve.
This was the inaugural effort of a new component of the 22-week training program. Recruits now must complete a community service project. The goal is ensuring the future troopers are sensitive to the populations they will one day serve.
Bringing our State Police recruits into the community is an important aspect in their overall training, said Colonel Steven ODonnell, Superintendent of the Rhode Island State Police and Commissioner of Public Safety. Understanding the diverse issues many of our citizens face will help our recruits in their overall decision-making process when they become Troopers.
On Saturday Oct. 19, about 20 recruits and supervising Troopers visited McAuley Village, which houses 23 homeless single mothers and their young children. The recruits landscaped outside the building, and cleaned and painted two apartments so homeless families can quickly move in. On the following Saturday, Oct. 26, half the remaining recruits met with Village families and helped them paint pumpkins and pick out Halloween costumes. The others landscaped at McAuley House and served lunch. McAuley House is a meal site that serves up to 300 hungry Rhode Islanders daily.
Pumpkins were donated by Schartner Farms in Exeter, Four Town Farm in Seekonk, Ma and We Share Hope.