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Sandy Hook School Children: 'Anything that Makes Them Smile'

Monroe K-9 Officer Dennis Bradshaw dresses up a stuffed duck and uses a puppet to entertain children bussed in at the security checkpoint at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

Monroe police officers have been securing the driveway of Sandy Hook Elementary School on Fan Hill Road every day since Monroe allowed Newtown to use its building in the aftermath of the tragic shooting at their school last December. K-9 Officer Dennis Bradshaw, whose grandson Chad is a third-grader there, tries to make it fun for the children whenever he's on duty.

Two kindergarten girls gave Bradshaw a stuffed duck to keep him company and Bradshaw decorates it differently for each shift. On Tuesday morning, Bradshaw, who wore a cowboy hat himself, dressed the yellow duck up as a sheriff.

The stuffed animal sat atop his police cruiser next to the sign: "New Sheriff in Town! Smile!!"

"I try to do something different every time," Bradshaw said. "They get a kick out of it. Anything that makes them smile — and it helps me."

Dec. 14 was hard on Bradshaw. While worrying about his grandson and the other children, he was one of the first responders.

"It was a long day," Bradshaw recalled.

Bradshaw said he patrols the security checkpoint at Sandy Hook Elementary School about twice a week.

Aside from the stuffed duck, he entertains children — and often parents — with a puppet he manipulates through a shopping bag. Bradshaw said the children can't wait to see what he'll do next.

"Sometimes I think the bus is going to tip over because all of the kids rush to one side to see what I'm doing," Bradshaw said with a smile.

Robynne Wildman March 06, 2013 at 02:23 PM
Wonderful.
momant March 06, 2013 at 02:30 PM
Officer Bradshaw is such a nice person. He seems to truly loves his job. He is there early in the morning and still smiling at the end of the school day (even in cold or rainy weather). Monroe and Newtown are lucky to have such devoted officers watching over our kids!
Monroe Mama March 06, 2013 at 02:39 PM
My son goes to Fawn Hollow and we look forward to this officer! He makes my little one smile every morning as we turn into the parking lot! Thank You officer Bradshaw!
Heather March 06, 2013 at 02:49 PM
That's great!
Paul March 06, 2013 at 02:50 PM
To me , officer Bradshaw is one of Minroe's FINEST. He makes my son smile and laughs when ever on duty at S.H.E. drive way. I only wish that Officer Bradshaw was able to find a steady home for him self and justice at one of our school. While all of our patrol officers are great, Bradshaw just relates to the children , and them to him. Great job Officer Bradshaw, keep smiling. Sincerely Pete Maillet
Patti Kallas March 06, 2013 at 04:10 PM
Creativity at it's best! Thank you Officer Bradshaw for representing Monroe and going beyond the call of duty!
Cindy Fail March 06, 2013 at 04:22 PM
That's awesome, that put a smile on my face. Great job Officer Bradshaw!!!
Sue March 06, 2013 at 05:39 PM
Thank you Officer Bradshaw for being such a caring person and for taking the pain away from all these children. I can't imagine the horror they experienced that day in December. Sounds like because of you these children are happy and comfortable to go to school every day.
Danielle Gratrix March 06, 2013 at 07:26 PM
What a wonderful man. My son always looks forward to seeing Officer Bradshaw and his puppets when I drop him off at Fawn Hollow.
Michael Milne March 07, 2013 at 12:22 AM
Thank you Officer Bradshaw for representing the best of Monroe!
Rich March 07, 2013 at 02:14 AM
Officer Bradshaw is truly one of Monroe's finest. It all comes from the heart, and always with a smile!
Ellen March 07, 2013 at 02:42 AM
Our kids love all the police officer's in their lives these days, but I call Officer Bradshaw the Mayor of Monroe, and we CANNOT pass him without the kids putting down ALL the windows no matter what the weather, and talking to him. He is super with our special needs kid, and even gave him a picture of his K-9 unit dogs, which he treasures above all else. Talk about the healing process, talk about this man.
Tom Larsen March 07, 2013 at 02:49 AM
Thank you Monroe and the Monroe Police........we love you !
Oldblooeyz March 07, 2013 at 04:56 AM
Officer Bradshaw is the best ambassador Monroe has!! A big thank you to him and the rest of Monroe's finest!
mbs March 07, 2013 at 06:39 AM
I live in Oregon and when I read this story I felt so happy inside. Sometimes I feel like hugging all those children in Sandy Hook - but we all live so far away. To see such a wonderful human bringing so much joy in the lives of these children is such a wonderful hope to all of us who live far from Newtown but worry about the people there everyday. Thank you officer for your kindness! God bless you and your family!!! God bless all!!
Dennis Bradshaw March 07, 2013 at 10:15 PM
The greatest gift in life is love and love gives you ever lasting memories , God Bless All of you

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