Polzin Park Dedication, COP Open House in Mount Pleasant Neighborhood

Kids come out to play despite the chill on a sunny day in February 2016. (Photo credit: Lakeside COP House Facebook)

The sounds of children laughing, running and playing have been ringing through the Lakeside neighborhood since Polzin Park was completed earlier this year.

Listening to the sounds of childhood echoing down the street is music to Paula Wells Huck’s ears.

“Hearing the kids laughing and shouting about going to the park is pure happiness!” she told Racine County Eye.

Polzin Park will be dedicated at 4 p.m. June 15, and friends and neighbors from throughout the community are invited to the celebration. The park is located on the corner of Mead and 23rd Streets.

Named in honor of Richard Polzin, the former police chief in Racine, the park is the result of a $275,000 gift from SC Johnson to the Village of Mount Pleasant.

Polzin is considered the father of Community Oriented Policing in the city; under his watch, seven COP houses opened in various city neighborhoods, and, in his retirement helped shepherd the development of the Lakeside COP house in Mount Pleasant across the street from the park. The Lakeside house is the village’s first COP operation.

Huck is co-owner of Wells Brothers Pizza and a volunteer at the COP house. She said for too long children in the neighborhood didn’t have a safe place to play because the closest park was still several blocks away to the east; too far to walk for most of the children who now run up and down the playground and swing as high as they can go.

“Kids have the opportunity to be kids, and the laughter is amazing to hear,” she added. “It brings those of us involved in the neighborhood a lot of joy!”

At the same time, Mount Pleasant officers will offer tours of the COP house from 3 to 6 p.m. The COP house is located at 2237 Mead Street.