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U.S. Department of Justice
Office of Community Oriented Policing Services
In honor of National Library Week (#NationalLibraryWeek), April 9–15, 2017, the COPS Office is pleased to feature the partnership work between the Anne Arundel County Police Department and the Severn Branch of the Anne Arundel County Public Library.
Dozens of children gather around Corporal Russell Ziebell to show him their construction paper patrol cars, ask questions, and get hugs. Earlier, he and library associate Christeen Moore read stories about police as part of ‘Community Helpers’ Preschool Storytime, a library program for children to build early literacy skills needed for school readiness. Cpl. Ziebell is with the Western District Police and Community Together unit of the Anne Arundel County Police Department(AACPD). He works with organizations and community members throughout the western district, including the Severn Branch of the Anne Arundel County Public Library (AACPL). At this library event, more than 100 participants—children and their parents—spent the morning with Cpl. Ziebell and learned about the police department.
Branch manager Ashley Rogers originally reached out to the police for assistance with possible safety concerns related to a gun legislation meeting scheduled in the library’s public meeting room. Cpl. Ziebell followed up with support, and the library has called on him since for other assistance, including Preschool Storytime and other community programs.
The AACPD is also involved in library staff trainings and support for library employees. The police Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) visits library staff meetings to provide information on CIT and resources such as the Anne Arundel Community Warmline, a hotline for family and children handled by staff or the crisis response team. Officers also provide active shooter training and teen and adult mental health training to library staff who work with community members at library branches. These trainings and meetings also provide opportunities for the police and librarians to learn about additional resources and strengthen relationships.
The police department and the library also engage in a number of other partner activities, including the following:
Cpl. Ziebell reports that his days are varied but he is engaged with community members or working on projects to provide support to residents in the Western District and throughout Anne Arundel County. It is obvious from the warm compliments of library staff and the hugs and smiles of children at the recent storytime that Cpl. Russell Ziebell has a strong, established relationship with the community members at Severn Branch, Anne Arundel County Public Library.
Severn Community Library
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