By Ryan Yousefi
A group of Tamarac residents recently brightened the day of some of the men and women tasked with protecting and serving the city.
Beth Starkweather, a 19-year resident of the city who lives in Westlake, recently come across an article that detailed how two women with the shared goal in mind of providing some treats to the West Boynton Station of the Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office created a program called “Cookies for Cops.”
Wanting to do the same for Broward Sheriff’s Office deputies in Tamarac, she took to the Nextdoor community website to ask others if they would like to join her in her quest. Sure enough, she had 15 responses from others who wanted to participate in creating their own program.
After some coordination with the new team of volunteers, Starkweather reached out to Tamarac Captain Jeffrey Cirminiello to ask how the team could go about treating his officers. She says right away the captain gave them the okay to donate individually wrapped cookies, crackers, pretzels, and of course, dog treats for the K-9 corps.
“I was overwhelmed by the great community spirit and generosity of all our group.” Starkweather said, “I exchanged messages with all the members of our group and collected the donations from eight members over two days; in outdoor, masks on, Covid-19 mindful exchanges.”
While the title “Cookies for Cops” may lead some to believe this was a group of neighbors baking cookies and brownies for officers, according to Starkweather, that is not possible in the current environment.
“Unfortunately, due to concerns of allergies, the freshness of products, and the safety of all of our officers, we could not accept any home-baked goodies,” Starkweather said. “Times are different these days.”
Once all the donations were acquired, the group made arrangements with Captain Cirminiello to drop off the treats outside the front of the BSO Station and Tamarac City Hall on July 2. This timing was essential to the group as they wanted to ensure the officers would have the treats for the long holiday weekend.
Starkweather says she was still beaming from the experience while sitting at home talking on the phone about the day when she heard a knock on her door. When she answered, she found three officers standing there with flowers and cards in hand to thank her for her gracious efforts.
As to what’s next for the “Cookies for Cops,” crew, Starkweather says she will be contacting Tamarac Fire Chief Percy Sayles to hopefully coordinate a “Fun Foods for Fire Rescue Tamarac.” She says she’ll once again use the Nextdoor.com website to coordinate efforts and collect donations.
All in all, Starkweather says, “Cookies for Cops,” exceeded expectations, and gave everyone involved exactly what the world needs most these days: More reasons to smile.
“I think the officers were very surprised and extremely appreciative of our gesture,” Starkweather said. “I know we in the group were very appreciative of their daily dedication to their service of our community.”
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- Ryan Yousefi has lived in Coral Springs for over 30 years. He has worked as a writer for multiples outlets over the years, including the Miami New Times where he has covered sports and culture since 2013. He holds a Bachelor's Degree and a Master's Degree in Business Healthcare Management from Western Governors University.
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