Fight Crime: Invest in Kids talks with Chief Hodsdon
Mexico, Maine Chief of Police Roy Hodsdon discusses his first job as a Head Start teacher, service as a police officer, and involvement with Fight Crime: Invest in Kids
Chief of Police Roy Hodsdon supports the Fight Crime: Invest in Kids mission and belief that early childhood education is vital to the well-being of our nation’s children.
Q: How were you introduced to Fight Crime: Invest in Kids and why did you join?
Chief Hodsdon: I first learned of Fight Crime: Invest in Kids in the mid 2000’s when I received an email from Fight Crime: Invest in Kids that outlined potential cuts to Head Start and after school programs. I immediately signed up to help the good fight. Being that our police department has a youth explorer program, and that I work with the local youth and our communities, and being a former Head Start Teacher, I understand and have seen the benefits of these types of programs.
Q: What is the most difficult aspect of serving as a police officer?
Chief Hodsdon: The hardest aspect of serving as a police officer would be not being able to help everyone who we are working with. As a police officer you want to help as many people as you can, and unfortunately we are unable to help or save everyone we meet. One of the calls that I still remember vividly was when I was not able to save a young child who had drowned in a neighbor’s swimming pool.
Q: As a police officer, what have you observed about the most at-need children in your community?
Chief Hodsdon: Due to my Head Start background, then becoming a police officer, I was already aware of the most at-need children. I knew that these children are not bad kids and are only wanting to be accepted by their peers, schools and communities as equals – and not poor or troubled children. I have personally had a great experience with the most at-need children in our area, and have been able to build their trust by treating them with respect and just taking the time to listen to their wants, needs and what is going on in their own world.
Q: Do you see your work with Head Start aligned with your work as a police officer?
Chief Hodsdon: Absolutely, I think that my time at Head Start and working with both the children and their parents, made my transition as a police officer that much smoother. I found that knowing the families and working with them as a police officer, I had already gained their respect and was able to draw from previous experiences I had with them to help handle the current complaint that I was working on.
Q: What is a highlight of your work with Head Start?
Chief Hodsdon: One of my highlights as a Head Start teacher, was that I was the only male Head Start teacher around and worked with a lot of children who had no father or male figures in their lives. I was able to be a positive influence in their lives. It was such an honor to see the students open up and smile once they were able to see I was there to help them. I have had several of my previous Head Start students and parents tell me that I had really impacted their lives in a positive way.
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