Connecting with the community, and especially its children, was the aim behind the Jefferson Township Police Department's mini golf event at the Lake Hopatcong Golf Club for kids of all ages. Led by Detective Joseph Kratzel, Carene Kratzel, Erin Ackerly, Michelle Craig, and Officer Christopher Fabian, this event raised money for the D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) program at Jefferson Township schools and gave the kids an opportunity to interact with police officers.

At the event, kids were able to have a friendly competition with police officers who were stationed at each hole; ate popcorn, dinner, and ice cream from the Jefferson Dairy; and won prizes at the end of the night. While the kids played the night away, their parents could go on a date night to The Windlass or Alice's, where 20 percent of their check went to the Putt with the Police event. The sponsorships at each hole served as another source of revenue for the fundraiser, and many businesses donated dozens of prizes for the kids to win.

Detective Kratzel said, “This event was a huge success. The whole town seemed to come together to support our fundraiser, but more important than the money we raised, this event gives the kids a way to connect with our police officers and helps normalize us and make us more approachable.”

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