The Essex Police Department (EPD) gave local kids an idea to pass the time while schools are closed and people are being urged to stay at home.

On March 20, the department put out a call on its Facebook page for children to draw and send police-themed pictures. After a great deal of initial submissions, Essex Police broadened the task to include drawings of Essex Rescue and the fire departments.

"This came about as a way to engage the kids and parents with the police department and give them a task at a time when tensions are high and there’s a lot of uncertainty," said Ron Hoague, captain and executive officer for EPD. "We want people to understand that the PD is looking out for their well-being, and we know what everyone is going through because we are as well. This was also kind of selfish for me as I thought the PD could use a morale boost with all the negativity in the media in regards to COVID-19. The kids' pics were great for everyone here and exceeded the number I thought we would get. Adding rescue and the fire departments came afterwards as I assumed that they were going through what we were as well."

Art sent in--some even coming from area adults--included pictures of cruisers, K9 Officer Wes, and a “day in the life” of a dispatcher.

This story was updated at 7:30 p.m. on 3/28/20.

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