Kindergarten Student’s Project Gets Police Support

Kindergarten Student’s Project Gets Police Support
Rhett Staples is pictured with Berlin Police Officer Joseph Kerr. Submitted Photo

SALISBURY – A student’s efforts to collect 100 pictures for a class assignment received the support of several law enforcement agencies.

In recent weeks, Rhett Staples, a kindergarten student at Asbury Child Development Center in Salisbury, has been on a mission to complete a class project.

The assignment – to bring in 100 of something for the 100th day of school – was made more challenging when Rhett decided he wanted to take 100 pictures of himself with law enforcement personnel and display them on a “thin blue line” flag.

“For the 100th day of school they are supposed to bring in project that represents 100 of something …,” Kristin Staples, Rhett’s mother, said. “So he wanted to do 100 pictures with police officers.”

Staples said Rhett’s interest in law enforcement began a few years ago, when he first toured the Wicomico County Sheriff’s Office with Sheriff Mike Lewis.

“Ever since then, whenever we went somewhere and saw a police officer, he would ask to get pictures with them,” she said. “He has been saving those pictures in an album.”

Staples said Rhett began collecting new photos for his school project in recent weeks, visiting police departments, sheriffs’ offices and police barracks throughout the lower Eastern Shore. In January, Staples also started a Facebook page to share her son’s efforts.

“The response has been overwhelming,” she said. “We had police chiefs and officers and sheriffs reaching out to us. So just about every other day we’ve been visiting different departments and taking pictures.”

To date, Rhett has taken pictures with officers from Baltimore County, Berlin, Salisbury, Seaford, Pocomoke and several other jurisdictions. He’s also been photographed with county sheriffs and state troopers.

“It started as a really cool idea and with Facebook it’s blown up,” Staples said. “We are really grateful to everyone that has invited us to come out.”


Ocean Pines Police Officer Ricky Kerrigan is pictured with Staples.

Staples said her son’s project is due on Feb. 7, but noted that Rhett will continue visiting law enforcement agencies. In the coming weeks, for example, he will visit agencies in Annapolis, Talbot County and Anne Arundel County.

“He had a limited view of law enforcement before this, and I think he now knows it’s a much larger network and that different departments do things differently,” Staples said. “He has also enjoyed meeting new people.”

For more information, or to follow Rhett’s efforts, visit “The Epic Police Adventures of Officer Staples” Facebook page.

About The Author: Bethany Hooper

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Bethany Hooper has been with The Dispatch since 2016. She currently covers various general stories. Hooper graduated from Stephen Decatur High School in 2012 and the University of Maryland in 2016, where she completed double majors in journalism and economics.