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Students, officers enjoy unique connection in Solvay

The fruits of a collaboration between Solvay High School and the village police department were celebrated Tuesday Oct. 27 at the regular village board meeting. Solvay Police Chief Rick Cox presented the village board with the new police sleeve patch the officers will wear, designed by SHS senior Brian Wright.

Cox explained the project began in 2008 when the department approached Solvay Union Free Schools administration to enlist students in redesigning the patches, which had been developed in 1966.

The redesign became an assignment for students in Steve Devendorf's graphic design class, and an optional project for art students. Three patch prototypes were selected from the students' work and put to a vote by the community.

Solvay detective Larry Clapp said more than 1,600 votes were cast on the police department Web site.

"That just shows the community involvement we have here," Cox said.

The community chose Wright's design as the favorite, and officers are already wearing the new design on their uniforms. Cox presented both Mayor Kathy Mirinelli and Solvay administrators Jody Manning and Jay Tinklepaugh with plaques displaying the new and old patches.

The project allowed students and officers to see one another in a different light, two groups whose encounters, by nature, are generally not positive.

Wright said the project was just another assignment until he learned that one of the students' designs would be worn by the officers in his hometown.

"I'm excited with the final outcome," he said.

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