BLACKSBURG, S.C. (WSPA) – Parents in Blacksburg who are finding themselves without childcare while schools go virtual this week, can get a little help from their local police officers.
Cherokee County Schools are going virtual due to staffing shortages and covid cases. Chief Jamie Ham, with the Blacksburg Police Department, says they’re offering to come check up on your child while you’re at work. He says they will come check up on any child within city limits on Thursday and Friday.
“We’ll come by, check on them and make sure everything is fine. If for any reason, we don’t get in contact with them, then we’ll call the parents and say hey, we went by your house. Your child didn’t come to the door, so they can do some checking themselves,” said Chief Ham.
Chief Ham says the checks can occur as many times as you need.
“We have a lot of working parents and single parents, and so, they have to work. They can’t, you can’t stay home. So, as long as the kid is of age where they can stay home, it just gives them a little extra bit of knowing someone is checking on them, and makes them feel a little better,” he said.
He says the idea to do this comes from one of his officers who used to work in a school. He says their main goal is to establish trust within the community.
“It’s a great way for us just to develop an open line of communication with parents and a relationship with the kids as well,” he said.
Josh Hardin is a father of four. He says finding child care is leaving his family scrambling.
“Having the rug pulled out from underneath you is kind of difficult for the next two days,” said Hardin.
He says the police department doing this helps put his mind at ease as a parent.
“I think it is an excellent, excellent opportunity. In our situation, my wife and I both work, so we can’t count on the neighbors or anything like that, because we live so far apart,” said Hardin.
He says things like this that show how close-knit Blacksburg is.
“I think for them to be able to do that, it really shows the effort that our community has in our police department, that they’re willing do something like that,” he said.
If you want the Blacksburg Police Department to check up on your child, Chief Ham says send them an email at: firstname.lastname@example.org, send them a message on their website, or call them at (864) 839-2331.
The district is also cancelling all school activities for Thursday and Friday.