PARAMUS, N.J. — Paramus Police Officer Brian Linden walked down the halls of Memorial Elementary School Tuesday evening looking for an old friend.
He stopped at the doorway of the classroom where the Brownie troop was meeting, and up jumped 7-year-old Delaney Boettcher, bounding into his arms with remnants of a lollipop and a big smile on her face.
The pair had met back in 2013 when Delaney fell off her swing set and was badly bruised. Linden responded, comforted the family and even invited Delaney to be his special guest at the Fourth of July fireworks.
"They just bonded — like instantly," said Delaney's mom, Shari Boettcher, one of the troop leaders. "I don't really know how else to explain it."
Their friendship has remained strong ever since, and on Tuesday evening, Delaney and the Tuesday evening Memorial School Brownie Troop made goody bags for Linden and his fellow officers.
The troop had been making them for soldiers but decided to make them for the local police force, as a way to show them that officers help them, too.
Linden — whose son now goes to the same school as Delaney, took questions from the 2nd graders and touched on his role in protecting the community.
The officer hopes his visit gave the youngsters a better understanding of what police officers actually do... and that he'll see his old friend again soon.