Blog | April 9, 2020

Maine Sheriffs’ Video Challenge Catches On

The Videos Encourage Family Reading Time

Amid the chaos and isolation, many children have experienced as they’re home from school, a series of videos posted by local sheriffs across Maine recently aimed to spread positivity and connection. Each sheriff read a children’s book of his choosing to a virtual audience of kids, as a way to encourage family reading time, connect with the people they serve, and reveal law enforcement’s human side to children.

Fight Crime: Invest in Kids members in Michigan and Massachusetts started the trend before it spread to Maine on April 1. On that day, Penobscot County Sheriff Troy Morton posted a video of him reading a children’s book. He stated: “While so many children are home from school today… I thought I’d take a minute to read a book.” He chose to read Cars: Driving Buddies. Why did he choose this book? Sheriff Morton explained, “Well, here’s one of the reasons: Kyle, my son, drives his own race car. The other reason? There’s a great character in here named Sheriff.”

Not only did Sheriff Morton make a “big shout out” to Fight Crime: Invest in Kids for sharing the book-reading suggestion with our members, he also challenged Knox County Sheriff Tim Carroll to follow his lead and share a video of him reading a children’s book as well.

Sheriff Caroll heeded the challenge! As the challenge has unfolded, four sheriffs – Knox County Sheriff Tim Carroll, Lincoln County Sheriff Todd Brackett, Washington County Sheriff Barry Curtis, and Aroostook County Sheriff Shawn Gillen – have now posted videos of themselves reading books to children. Alongside these videos, the sheriffs all voiced their support for Fight Crime: Invest in Kids. The latest to be challenged is Franklin County, Sheriff Scott Nichols.

In this busy and chaotic period, when law enforcement leaders take the time to read to children, they’re sending a clear message. Prioritizing family reading time can make all the difference in children's’ development, help prepare them for the next grade level, and give them a start towards a healthy, productive life. That’s why these videos are not just endearing; they reflect a critical law enforcement issue: education.

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