In early 2014, Tustin PD partnered with Team Kids in order to help the children of Heideman Elementary School in understanding the importance of philanthropic challenges. The Team Kids Challenge is a four-week program that empowers elementary students to learn about community needs and to work alongside police officers, firefighters, parent volunteers, and Team Kids mentors. This was the pilot program in the City of Tustin.
The program started with an assembly led by police officers, firefighters, and Team Kids staff. Every student was invited to participate in the weekly challenge. Under Officer Hedges’ guidance, the students collected food items, clothing and wrote letters to deployed troops. They hosted a carnival and raised nearly $500 for a local animal shelter. The students coordinated their efforts during their lunchtime and foregoing their recess.
The program concluded with Officer Hedges and Principal Kilian presenting their success stories to City Council. It was announced at Council the students were part of breaking a Guinness Book of World Records for the most letters written (over 12,000) to deployed troops in one month. Over 75 students and their parents were in attendanceased.
One of the Community Policing Bureau’s 2014 Goals is to reduce bicycle collisions by 5%. Officer Hedges, in addition to Team Kids and his regular duties, has devoted countless hours to lead the Traffic Unit’s efforts to reaching this goal by educating the public on bicycle safety. He has developed safety brochures, attended numerous community events, met with local bicycle shops and clubs, and worked with OCTA and TUSD to educate the community.
For Officer Hedges’ hard work, dedication, and leadership, he has been selected as the recipient of the Chamber of Commerce Officer of the Month Award for July 2014. Congratulations Officer Hedges!