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“Eat on the Beat” Program to Build Relationships Between Law Enforcement and APS Students

The United Way of Northeast Michigan and Alpena Public Schools is launching a new program with local law enforcement.

The program, “Eat on the Beat”, allows officers, troopers, or deputies to occasionally stop by any of the schools to have breakfast or lunch with the kids. “This has been kind of a labor of love,” said Lee Fitzpatrick, communications director for APS. “Our law enforcement, state, county, the local city police have been such fantastic partners for us on school security. We’ve spent a lot of time together these last several years.”

An Alpena County deputy pulls away from Thunder Bay Junior High School.

“To get the next generation to look up to police officers, or respect police officers, or look for us in a time of need,” added Erik Smith, Alpena County sheriff. “That relationship to us is very valuable.”

During their visit, officers will also receive a free meal courtesy of donations through United Way. “Federal law does not allow us to buy meals for adults,” Fitzpatrick said. “So, this will be funded by donations. United Way is the fiduciary so United Way is the place people can donate to. You can do it online.”

Anyone interested in donating can contact Joe Gentry of United Way or Lee Fitzpatrick of Alpena Public Schools.