Most mornings during school drop off, at Porfirio H. Gonzales an elementary school located in the heart of Tolleson, you can find the City of Tolleson School Resource Officer (SRO) Chris Medaglia greeting families and helping students make it to class on time. As an SRO, his role is to become a part of the school and community for students and families to build relationships with him as an officer and an extension of the Tolleson Police Department. Officer Medaglia has become a part of the community, so much so, that some families even have his cell number and call him for help.
During recess, he typically helps with equipment check out. This is when he began to notice a shortage of balls for students. He found himself turning students away as there were no soccer balls, no basketballs for them to use. He thought to reach out to Tolleson Chief Wayne Booher to ask him if he could simply purchase some balls for Porfirio H. Gonzales students. A quick phone call to Chief Booher and an idea from Tolleson Commander Rudy Mendoza marked the beginning of the idea to start a sports ball drive where officers and staff from the entire department would donate balls new and/or gently used for the school. Chief Booher sent an email to his officers and staff asking if they would contribute to the sports ball drive. Officers and staff began bringing balls in from home and mostly purchasing new ones. After two short weeks, Tolleson PD was able to collect a few dozen balls for students to use during recess. This was truly a team effort as Sergeant Obed Gaytan also reached out to Holsum Bakery Warehouse and their team also donated some sport balls.
Officer Medaglia couldn’t be happier to see how his peers joined him in his efforts to bring joy back to recess for the students at his school. His dedication to the school sparked the rest of his team to want to help. Together the Tolleson PD was able to restock the entire school with sports balls for everyone to use. The Tolleson Police Departments’ commitment to the City’s core values of equity, inclusion, inspire, caring and collaboration are evident as they came together to help support students at Porfirio H. Gonzales.