The invitation went out over the weekend for kids and their parents to come down to Pierson Park on Tuesday afternoon from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. for FREE ice cream (“cone with a cop”). It was all courtesy of the Tarrytown Police Department and the local chapter of the Police Benevolent Association (PBA), which paid for the ice cream from Jimmy’s Soft Serve truck. The purpose: “Get to know your local police, and so that they too can get to know you!”
They were guaranteed a strong turnout since the Tarrytown-Sleepy Hollow Summer Camp pretty much rules Pierson Park at that time of day at this time of year, so it was little more than a hop, skip and a jump from the playground to Jimmy’s truck.
Tarrytown Police Chief John Barbalet said they anticipated getting 60 to 80 kids, but it appeared they had topped that number before 2:30 p.m..
Forewarned, some of the kids put together posters thanking the police. They got a bonus, thanks to John Stiloski of Stiloski Automotive, who donated hundreds of dollars worth of toys for the occasion.
Many of the officers came there off-duty, wearing civilian clothes, distinguishable from everyday citizens mostly by their large biceps. Also in evidence were members of the Tarrytown Board of Trustees, including Mayor Tom Butler and Trustees Doug Zollo and Karen Brown, both of whom happen to be running to succeed Butler in next November’s election.
Asked if he thought the event had achieved its purpose, Chief Barbalet paused ever so briefly before pronouncing, “Ice cream does a lot of good.”