City of Poughkeepsie Police Officer Karen Zirbel, who serves as School Resource Officer, has organized a “Thanksgiving Dessert Drive” to benefit families in Poughkeepsie. Zirbel and her fellow officers will be collecting pies, cakes, cookie platters, and other sweet treats from individuals and businesses. The desserts will be delivered to families from a list that Zirbel has compiled with the assistance of social workers, psychologists, principals, and teachers. In addition to helping families in need, Zirbel has decided to surprise students who are doing well in school by dropping desserts off to them as well. “Often in school, we pay more attention to kids who engage in problematic behavior and never have time to pay attention to the kids who are doing the right thing, being kind, trying hard, and setting good examples for others.” Zirbel also said that this is a way for the officers to reward good behavior.
Zirbel’s efforts are being doubled with the assistance of the Community Policing Division. Officers Michael Braren and Kevin Van Wagner have been visiting local businesses to hand out fliers regarding the Thanksgiving Pie Drive. According to Braren, businesses have been eager to assist with the pie drive by offering to donate baked goods and gift certificates. “The feedback from the community has been both positive and appreciative. We look forward to making this Thanksgiving a little nicer for those families who cannot always afford the extras,” said Braren.
When told of Zirbel’s latest efforts to improve community relations, Mayor Rob Rolison was not surprised at all. “Our police officers demonstrate every day their concern and commitment to this city. Officer Zirbel and the PBA are to be thanked once again for the work they do,” said Rolison.
Zirbel is asking individuals, businesses, and community organizations to deliver the donated desserts to the Public Safety Building at 505 Main Street on or before Thanksgiving Eve, Wednesday, November 27. Zirbel noted that receipts can be provided for the donations. Individuals needing additional information can contact Officer Zirbel via email at [email protected]