Stephen Schleig recalls the day he discovered his career.
The Palmer Township resident was just 5 years old when an Easton police officer picked him up and put him on the seat of a motorcycle while another officer offered words of encouragement to the youngster.
"That made me all set to want to become a police officer," said Schleig, a part-time Palmer officer and full-time member of the Nazareth Police Department.
So Schleig pitched a proposal to the Palmer Township Board of Supervisors Monday night to launch a Cops and Kids program during next month's Community Days.
"I can see the effects of making a bond between law enforcement and the community," he said. The event would feature demonstrations from various law enforcement agencies.
"People see us as soldiers, which we are, because we're on the battlefield every day," he said. "This is a way to give back to the community and give kids the chance to know us."
Schleig said he believed that he could put together a program in time for Community Days, provided Police Chief Larry Palmer and the board sign off on it.
But supervisors weren't so sure.
Supervisors Chairman Dave Colver said he liked the idea, but he thought there were too many obstacles.
"Getting all those people together is a tough act to do," Colver said. "I don't think it's going to be as easy as you think it's going to be. The time is very short. Personally, I don't think you can pull it off."
Supervisor Ann-Marie Panella told Schleig he should use the police booth already set up for Community Days and improve upon it besides just having children get fingerprinted.
"Build on what you've got, you've got the basics there," she said. "And then expand upon it next year."
Supervisor Bob Lammi commended Schleig for presenting the idea and said that Palmer Township should look at other community-oriented programs that police departments like Forks Township are doing.
"The police business isn't about just going out and arresting people," Lammi said. "It should be proactive, not reactive."
Lammi suggested to Township Manager Christopher Christman that Palmer Township examine such programs and consider funding them in the township budget.
"I'd like to see a lot more done on that," he said. "But that's more for Chief [Larry] Palmer, Chris and the board to decide."