MILLBURY, Mass. — New Millbury Police Chief Kenny Howell spent two hours with seniors at the Millbury Senior Center on Thursday afternoon during a lunch-time meet and greet.
Howell was invited by Judith O’Connor, director of the Council on Aging and Senior Center, to come and have lunch with some of the town’s seniors and listen to any concerns they may have and become a face to the new name for the Police Department.
“Wow, I didn’t expect there was going to be this many people here,” Howell said upon entering a three-quarters full cafeteria at the center. Turning to O’Connor, he asked, “is this a normal lunch-time crowd?”
Howell greeted each senior at their tables walking around the room and pressing the flesh. It was quickly obvious that not only was he comfortable with Millbury’s seniors but that they were with him. There was much joking and laughing and one resident poking fun about Howell not wearing any hearts on Valentine’s Day, gave him a lei of sorts made of hearts and foil and he wore it the rest of the afternoon.
Howell sat t a table during lunch with some of the many volunteers who work at the center. During dessert, many of the seniors started in ones and twos to come over and speak with him. No one had concerns or problems that needed to be addressed but they all wanted to meet him, say hello and get to know him, even for just a little bit.
Then in the spirit of Valentine’s Day, seniors present entered a drawing to see who the King and Queen of Valentine’s Day at the center would be, with Howell drawing the winning names.
Not long after that, the cameras were coming out and Howell was posing with many of the seniors as they came to greet him. Spending two hours from noon to 2 p.m. took a little from the chief’s busy schedule, but it paid great dividends as there were plenty of smiles from the seniors as they filed out.
Asked if he’d come again to a lunch with the seniors, Howell responded with a smile, “I’ll come whenever I am invited.”