BIDDEFORD, Maine —
On Saturday morning in Biddeford, the Biddeford Police Department and Apex Youth Connection teamed up to host a “Bike with a Cop” event.
Children of all ages were invited to go on a bike ride on the Eastern Trail, and there was a good turnout of kids mostly between the ages of four and seven. The kids rode their bikes with two Biddeford Police officers and a representative of Apex Youth Connection.
Apex Youth Connection, formerly the Community Bicycle Center in Biddeford, is a nonprofit youth organization that offers supportive mentors to kids, as well as after-school and summer programs for 5th to 12th graders. You can learn more about Apex Youth Connection by visiting its website.
“I think it’s a great way for the little ones to get out and get some exercise; Practice riding their bikes. It’s fun,” says Marigan Bishop from Saco.
“This is such a great event. My boys are so excited to come and meet police officers and to get to know them better and have somewhere to ride their bikes,” says Anna McCard from Saco.
The “Bike with a Cop” event allowed community members to make connections with their local police department in a positive way while also promoting Apex Youth Connection and having fun.
“It’s great to partner with the police. I think officer Lavertue would say ‘it’s better to for us to meet you when things are going good on a nice sunny day’ and we’re happy to partner with these guys to get out in the community and do something positive,” says Tim Boston, Engagement Specialist at Apex Youth Connections.
“It’s about, you know, a community aspect. Being approachable for people to come and know who their local police department is and to be able to make those connections. And when, you know, if an officer is going by, say ‘I know that officer. We've had fun with them.’" says Officer Justin Lavertue, Community Oriented Policing and Engagement Officer at Biddeford Police Department.