To the Editor:
I am writing to recognize the recent contribution made to Bayonne High School by Bayonne Police Officer, Loyad Booker. This past weekend, Officer Booker assumed the role of Ebenezer Scrooge in the Bayonne High School winter production of A Christmas Carol, the Musical. In this role, Officer Booker worked on stage with 70 Bayonne High School and Bayonne elementary students. Officer Booker made such an impact on me and my staff throughout the rehearsal and production process that I felt compelled to write to you and acknowledge his work.
As an educator I have long admired the exceptional work Officer Booker and Officer Joynt provide for Bayonne High School and the Bayonne community. Their commitment each day to the students and staff of Bayonne High School is in itself worthy of praise. However, this recent action by Officer Booker truly went above and beyond any expectations that I may have had.
When I approached Officer Booker to perform this role, I had knowledge of his past theatrical experience. Officer Booker often stops into the rehearsals at BHS after school and visits with the students offering encouragement, and as he always does, making the students aware that he is always available to them should they require his help. During these frequent visits, Officer Booker recalled with fondness his college experiences in the theater. It was these initial conversations that led me to ask Officer Booker to participate in the BHS Production.
Initially I felt Officer Booker would not be able to participate and that performing the role may take too much of his time. To my surprise Officer Booker accepted the role, began to rehearse, and ultimately did an outstanding job performing the role. It was, however, in the moments off stage and during rehearsal that Officer Booker truly did his best work. His daily interactions with his fellow cast provided a glimpse into true community policing.
Despite his considerable talents and portrayal of an iconic Dickensian character, Officer Booker remained a Bayonne Police Officer. As such, Officer Booker generously balanced his role as performer with his role as School Safety Officer and Bayonne Police Officer ,offering insight, advice, and encouragement to all cast members daily. The care and attention Officer Booker displayed on a daily basis I am certain made a lasting impact on all involved with the production.
With so much in the media lately regarding law enforcement, including a great deal of negativity surrounding police officers, it is important to recognize a public servant who embodies what it means to both protect and serve the community. Officer Booker is a true community police officer and gentleman. It was a pleasure to work with him on this production and I am thankful for his continued service to the community of Bayonne.
Director of Fine & Performing Arts and Business Education
Bayonne Public Schools