Detective Crissy Bartley
Sydney Capito is the Communities in Schools Sight Coordinator in Richmond Public Schools. I describe her as “A beautiful little angel.”She identifies children’s needs, coordinates resources for them and places them in programs to further their well being.
Sydney said she always wanted to help children, but did not have the financial resources to help everyone. Her job helps her to fulfill this by being able to help the children get into programs and have access to the resources they need. Only I get the impression this is not just a job for her, it is more of a calling.
Lieutenant David Naoroz said Sydney is “genuinely concerned about all of her students and parents at the school…she greets all of her students with a warm hug and words that are always uplifting. She offers more than her time and love; she offers books and other resources that some of her kids may have a hard time obtaining so they can grow in all ways. ..
Captain Michael Snawder said Sydney “is a nice person who cares for her students. They are lucky to have her as their advocate.”
In my conversations with Sydney,she always knows the children’s names and what each one of them is struggling with. She identifies with them on a level deeper than just passing them in the halls or saying hello. You can see each one of them run up to her in the hallway, give her a big sincere hug, speak Spanish with her, and always,always be overcome with a sincere warm smile. I would see sad little children light up when she made contact with them. She asks them personal questions,because she genuinely cares and is intuitive with what is going on in their lives.
Sydney feels that some of the children may not always have a positive perception of police because their interaction with police is only during times of crisis outside of their school day. Some children have only seen the police when they have responded to a tragic event in their lives. Some of the children come from homes where family members were lost to violence. This is why she feels that officers engaging, mentoring and partnering with the children would be a positive influence on them. She feels the children would see the other side of police then what they are exposed to during times of crisis.
Sydney shared many stories about the police officers that have been a part of the programs at G.H. Reid Elementary. One of the stories was about Naoroz’s lunch buddy, Xavieon. Naoroz had a conversation with Xavieon about playing outside and building a fort. When Xavieon returned to school he shared his excitement about his successful fort construction. He wrote a thank you note to Naoroz that said:
“DearLt. Naoroz, Happy police week! You’ve been a great lunch buddy. I bet you do great when you go on a mission. Thanks for teaching me a lot –like to hold my tray with 2 hands. Also for teaching me to plan a fort. You the man in my life!!”
I remember my first meeting with my lunch buddy, Sommer, three years ago. Sommer told me she did not like police and I told her that was okay. We have not discussed much about police officers over the years, but I have gotten the feeling she has changed her mind a little. In fact, she does not even remember saying that. She is glad to meet police officers and remembers the names of the ones she meets. She is a brave, strong, sweet and entertaining young lady. Several of my coworkers have had the pleasure of meeting Sommer and believe me – she has left an impression on them. Over the years my coworkers always stepped up to help with anything asked of them to help Sommer in any way. No questions asked. When it comes to the children I can say with pride that my fellow Richmond Police Officers love to engage with, assist in any way and be a positive influence on the children in Richmond…and without hesitation.
Sydney was quick to name all the officers she has come in contact with over the last couple of years and described how each one of them has had a positive impact on the children. She selflessly gives kudos to the officers in Richmond, but is too humble to know the depth of our gratitude for her. She wanted to make sure all the Richmond Police officers that have helped with the various programs at Reid Elementary School over the last few years were named. If I have left someone out please accept my apology. Please know that Sydney and the children are thankful for your time.
Deputy Chief Eric English, Captain Michael Snawder, Lieutenant David Naoroz, Lieutenant Ronald Armstead, Detective Sharon Armstead, Detective Kristie Reed, Detective Pedro Riddle, Officer Larry Russell, Deputy Director of Operations Department of Emergency Communications Tory Maye, Officer Alice Snell, and Officer Monica Powell.