Police parade in Fort Lauderdale reaches out to youngest in community

FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) - A South Florida police department reached out to the youngest in the community with a dazzling show of support, in a flashy celebration in Broward county.

With lights blaring and horns honking, the police force put on a parade for the kids who are members of the club.

Ana M. Cedeno of Big Sisters & Big Brothers of Broward said, “This is the first time these children have been able to see their officer or big brother or sister since the pandemic, and we wanted to do something to support the officers.”

Marlei, a little sister, said, “It means a lot because we haven’t seen them in a long time because of what is going on in the world, so this is actually cool.”

Before the pandemic, the kids and their volunteer officer mentors got together regularly, but in this new normal, they had to get creative to reconnect.

Officer Derik Alexander of the Hollywood Police Department said, “Spending time with them at least once a week especially during the school year is a way for us, as officers, to stay rooted to the community.”

Kids of all ages lined up at the Tri-rail station in Hollywood for the procession, and police didn’t just bring cruisers.

They rolled out the heavy equipment.

Antjon, a parent, said, “There’s a stigma around them. This shows a different side. It’s not just about arresting people. It’s about the kids too. Giving back, I think that’s very important.”

No celebration would be complete without goodie bags.

But in the age of social distancing, expressions of gratitude for the gifts came in the form of thank you shout-outs and air hugs.

Hanniyah, a little sister, said, “It was really fun.”

Copyright 2020 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.