Ten-year-old D’Andrew Everetts rides his bike all over Havre de Grace, including to and from Havre de Grace Elementary School, every day.
School Resource Officer Jarid Coleman, an avid outdoorsman, noticed D’Andrew’s bike was in bad shape, Havre de Grace Police Chief Teresa Walter told members of the Havre de Grace City Council at their most meeting.
“There was no tread on his tries, sometimes they were flat. The brakes were often his feet and the chain was not serviceable,” Walter said.
Coleman sought help from Bike Shop of Bel Air, on Churchville Road in Campus Hills, in fixing D’Andrew’s bike.
Carl Wakefield and his staff at the bike shop repaired the brakes, replaced the tires and completed other repairs that made the bike new again. All the work was done at no charge to Coleman, who surprised D’Andrew with the refurbished bike at the end of the school day Dec. 13.
D’Andrew, who came to the front of the class to check out his new bike, hugged Coleman through his tears, according to Walter.
“This is a great story to share for the Christmas holidays,” Walter said.
Coleman, who knows a large number of Havre de Grace Elementary School students bike to school, said he plans to partner with a Havre de Grace Elementary teacher and Wakefield to hold a bike club, so bike maintenance can be taught after school. This will help avoid unsafe bikes on the road, which puts the rider at risk, he said.
The City of Havre de Grace has a school resource officer assigned to every public school in city limits. The program has been very successful in building relationships between police, students and the community of Havre de Grace, according to city officials. The resource officers are members of Walter’s department.
In addition to being sworn police officers, the SROs are also mentors, teachers and protectors of the students and staff of the buildings they serve, the chief said.
Mayor Bill Martin commended Coleman and said he’s a great addition to the school.
“He’s a very caring person and what you see is what you get,” Martin said, adding there are many more officers like Coleman in Havre de Grace.
Councilman David Martin thanked the entire police department, not only for protecting the city, but for going the extra step with things such as a recent clothing drive.
“We’re the type of community where we do have a police department that cares and it’s nice to see,” the councilman said.