Mission BBQ of Mishawaka is selling their Blue Hometown for Heroes Cups this session from 1/1/24 to 2/15/24 and they have selected Mishawaka Police and Fire (MPD and MFD) to receive a portion of the proceeds. Mission BBQ also asked the Mishawaka Police if it would be interested in being part of a Hot Cocoa with a Cop event at their restaurant on Saturday, January 27, 2024. The MPD was grateful for the invitation and gladly participated; however, a young man named Zach was unfortunately not able to participate in the event.
Zach was a student in the Exceptional Learners Program at Mishawaka High School when Lt. Faltynski was the School Resource Officer and Cpt. Glenn Hixenbaugh was the Truancy Officer. Zach was never in trouble but due to the Exceptional Learners Program classroom being next to the SRO office, Zach would frequently stop by and say ‘hi’ and expressed his thanks for them being a Mishawaka Police officer. Zach also goes to church with Sgt. Miles Andrews and has had great interactions with PFC Kyle Miner on several occasions over the years. Zach is an enthusiastic supporter of Mishawaka Police, and you can find him riding his bike all throughout Mishawaka (from the area of Capital and Lincolnway) especially downtown and near Mishawaka Police Department and always waves and yells ‘hi’ to the officers as he rides by.
Zach’s mother Trudy called on Monday, January 29th and communicated that Zach was super excited about the Hot Cocoa with a Cop event, but unfortunately, he missed it due to scheduling conflicts. She asked if it would be possible for Zach to have Hot Cocoa with a couple MPD officers someday. Lt. Faltynski communicated that he would look at the MPD officers’ availability and get back to her. He quickly followed up with MPD Officers Andrews, Hixenbaugh and Miner and inquired about their availability this week. He told them that he would call Trudy back and tell her that Tuesday, January 30 at 9:30a would work. She was so excited and stated, that she thought it would make Zach’s day, but that she better not inform him until the morning of the event because he would not be able to sleep because he would be so excited.
Lt. Faltynski made sure that Hot Cocoa Bar was still available and asked the Mayor’s secretary, Krista, if she would mind if we either grabbed a cup of cocoa for an event or hung out with a Zach, a young man he knew from the high school who missed out on Hot Cocoa with a Cop. Krista was so gracious and accommodating and let him know that there would be hot water and all of the supplies for the hot cocoa bar and even cookies for Zach and the officers.
On the morning of the event, Lt. Faltynski met Zach at City Hall at 9:30 a.m. and texted Officers Hixenbaugh, Andrews and Miner that Zach was at City Hall. They responded that they were available. Much to their surprise, when Zach and Lt. Faltynski made it to the Mayor’s Youth Council area, where the Hot Cocoa Bar was located, both Zach and Lt. Faltynski were shocked to find a total of 10 officers were there to have Cocoa with Zach. They spent about 30 minutes talking and drinking hot cocoa with Zach. Zach and all of the MPD officers had a fabulous time together.
Feature picture includes:
Not in order of Photo
Photo Order: Mortimore, Faltynski, Andrews, Miner, Hixenbaugh, ZACH, Bauer, Grzegorek, Schock, Johnson, Woods