Cops shop with civic-minded students in South Brunswick

SOUTH BRUNSWICK — Two sets of local heroes were once again honored for their contributions to the community.

Ten students were chosen from a pool of 9,000 in the South Brunswick school district to be assisted by South Brunswick police officers as they shopped in Target on Route 1 in South Brunswick on Dec. 17.

The second annual Heroes and Helpers event recognized students who help autistic kids in the classroom and on the playground, help kindergarteners learn to read, volunteer to tutor other students, raise money for kids with cancer at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, volunteer in a soup kitchen, help with food drives, promote breast cancer awareness, raise money for the treatment of Ebola patients in Africa and promote the Circle of Sisters.

Eric Robinson of South Brunswick High School was assisted by Detective Jairdullo; Darren Olsen of Crossroads South Middle School was helped by Officer Flanders; Sanjana Kowshik of Crossroads North Middle School walked around with Patrolman Merkler; Jake Graci of Brunswick Acres Elementary shopped with Patrolman Benbow; Madison Bachmann of Greenbrook Elementary was aided by Patrolman Sites; Megan Sidoti of Cambridge Elementary was helped by Patrolman First Class De- Prossimo; Irene Chiotis of Constable Elementary walked around with Patrolman Hallman; Katelyn O’Rourke of Monmouth Junction Elementary was assisted by Detective Shearer; Alan Shivey-Wells of Indian Fields Elementary shopped with Patrolman Gassman; and Gabriella Tuzzolino of Brooks Crossing Elementary was helped by Patrolman Moreira.

“These kids are known to help staff in the schools; provide motivation and guidance to classmates; and to offer kindness, compassion and a cheerful word to all they meet throughout the day,” Police Captain James Ryan said. “These kids are hard workers, striving to improve their grades and attendance. These kids are always working to improve the lives of the people around them, and we’re honored to stand here today and call these kids our personal heroes.”

South Brunswick Police Chief Raymond Hayducka credited the partnership with the business community and school district for making this day possible. He specifically thanked Target of South Brunswick, the South Brunswick School District’s administrators and supervisors, the Fraternal Order of Police and the Policemen’s Benevolence Association for funding this program; the South Brunswick School District for nominating the students; and all the recipients and their families for attending.