Big recognition for local Big Brother, Little Brother

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Edgartown police officer Zachary Townes and his Little, Cayden are being recognized during National Police week. — Courtesy Big Brothers Big Sister

Edgartown Police Officer and Big Brother Zachary Townes and his Little Brother Cayden, 12, were featured this week in the Big Brothers Big Sisters celebration of National Police Week.

In May 2019, Townes was matched as a Big Brother to his Little Brother, Cayden. The Edgartown Police Department became the first Island police department to join the K-9 Sgt. Sean Gannon Bigs in Blue Program, a one-to-one mentoring program through Big Brothers Big Sisters of Cape Cod & the Islands that focuses on building strong, trusting, and lasting relationships between children and law enforcement officers.

“As an officer, I think it is very important to build meaningful relationships with youth in our community, and I don’t think there’s a better way to do it than Big Brothers Big Sisters,” Townes said in the release. “I have really gotten a lot out of this program, and look forward to continuing my relationship with Cayden.”

Through the program, the two spend time together exploring the Island, playing catch and video games, and talking and getting to know each other.

Cayden, 12, looks up to Townes. “It’s special to have a Big Brother who is a police officer,” Cayden said in the release. “I can ask a lot of questions. It’s fun to be able to get out of the house and have someone to hang out with.”

Big Brothers Big Sisters on Martha’s Vineyard is looking to partner with additional police departments, and the community, to help match the nearly 20 children, most of whom are boys, who are waiting for a mentor. For more information on becoming a mentor with Big Brothers Big Sisters, visit the website: capebigs.org, or call 508-771-5150.