Thank you program continues to bring smiles

August 2, 2021

A small program initially started to thank Yale Hospitality staff has grown. This past month Yale custodians were the most recent recipients of an in-person surprise thank you visit from members of the Yale Police Department (YPD) that included gifts of chocolate! In late spring, YPD Officer Greg Swiantek came up with the idea to thank all of Yale’s essential Hospitality staff who worked on campus throughout the pandemic.

After the tremendous reception from the managers and staff, Greg wanted to thank more individuals around campus. He and a small team of officers and sometimes Canine Officer Heidi spent July visiting Yale’s custodial staff.

Each surprise visit was coordinated with the department’s manager. The YPD team was greeted with high fives, smiles, and laughter. Staff told of their experiences coming into work and the initial fear about the pandemic, and constant concern for the safety of themselves and their families. “This program is a huge hit; everyone loved the chocolates and the hand-written notes,” said Officer Swiantek.

Greg worked closely with Sergeant Sabrina Wood and Captain Von Narcisse, who oversee Community Engagement and also attended several of these events. “The wonderful reactions we’ve gotten from the staff is truly heartwarming and amazing. We are just as overwhelmed with emotion at times as they are,” said Captain Von Narcisse.

As one of the department’s community outreach officers, Greg and Officer Martha Cedeno-Ross work closely with the Yale and New Haven Communities. This current thank you program continues; next in line to thank the Office of Emergency Management and Environmental Health & Safety.