Cubs slugger Kyle Schwarber — the son of a cop — felt right at home Monday at the Chicago Police’s 25th District station.
“To be able to come here, it brings back a lot of memories,” Schwarber said. “My dad would pick me up from school and I would go right to the police department. I’d hang out there for a couple hours, be a kid and see what it’s like [to be a police officer].”
Schwarber was at the 25th District as part of his Neighborhood Heroes campaign that honors and assists first responders. His inspiration behind the second-year campaign came from his own experiences growing up in a family of first responders.
His father was a police officer for more than 30 years, his mother was a police dispatcher before becoming a nurse and his sister was in the military and now works in the same police station his dad once worked.
“I know the toll and the grind that all of these people go through,” Schwarber said. “Not just the police officers themselves, but their families as well. This is just a big ‘thank you’ to them for their service. I just want to shed some light on all the good that these guys do.”
Schwarber spent the afternoon shaking hands, taking pictures, signing autographs and enjoying pizza and conversation with about 30 officers and their families. It was a surprise visit that felt more like a family gathering.
Monday wasn’t just about enjoying conversation with these officers, either. Schwarber hopes his presence and support will encourage a positive relationship between communities and police.
“This is so important for the men and women in blue,” 25th District Commander Anthony Escamilla said. “To see that not only the community but our athletes are aware of how much these officers every day are giving, sacrificing and that they are putting their lives on the line to protect the citizens. It just is another sign that the community is coming together with us.”