Woodstock police help build a fence around apartment playground

Published: Jul. 25, 2022 at 10:00 AM EDT
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WOODSTOCK, Va. (WHSV) - The Woodstock Police Department is always looking for ways it can improve the lives of the people they serve. Helping build a fence at the Woodstock Village Apartments was one way officers were able to do that this month.

The Woodstock Village Apartments has a playground located right along Water Street.

“While patrolling we’ve noticed on numerous occasions kids chasing balls out in the road, and it’s a down hill slope, so it’s going to happen,” Sgt. John Fox said.

Sgt. Fox came up with the idea of building a fence around the playground to keep kids out of the busy road. So, several off-duty officers volunteered their time to make it happen, and it only took half a day.

“A lot of positive comments from the residents that were here the day we put the fence up, a lot of claps and thumbs up,” Chief Eric Reiley said.

And he said making those connections is what policing is all about.

“We want our officers to have a relationship with the people that they serve, they want that foundation of trust, so when we are needed, the officer will know who they’re helping,” Chief Reiley said.

This project was especially meaningful to officer Edgar Messina, who used to play on the very same basketball court.

“Just years ago, I air balled and had to go pick up the basketball in the street. So, it was pretty cool that now we were able to build a fence where kids that probably aren’t as good at basketball, like I was, now don’t have to look both ways before picking up the ball,” Officer Messina said.

He added he’s looking forward to finding new ways to continue serving others in Woodstock.

“It’s kind of like we’re a big family. So, we always stop and find ways to talk to people, find ways to question people in a matter of ‘what to do you need? What do you think we can do as law enforcement to better help your needs, better help your wants and better help our community,” Officer Messina said.

Chief Eric Reiley said Woodstock Public Works and Lowe’s were a big help in making this project happen.

Lowe’s plans to donate more materials to stain the fence once it’s ready.

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