WESTFIELD, NJ — Holy Trinity School students playing outside during lunch were delighted when Westfield Police Officer Aaron Doherty challenged them to an impromptu jump rope contest on Monday.

“At lunch duty today a Westfield police officer parked his patrol car and walked over to a group of our kids. He asked them who was the best at jumping rope and before we knew it he was in a jump rope competition with 12 2nd, 3rd and 4th graders,” read a post on the private Catholic school’s Facebook page. “They were laughing, talking, playing and having a great time! Thank you, officer in patrol car #44, for going out of your way to show kindness, trust, respect and being an excellent example to our kids!”

Deanette Myers said her daughter Maggie, who is in the second grade, called it “The best day ever.’”

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“She said, ‘Mom, I had the best day. At recess, a policeman came over and jumped roped with us with all his gear on. He was showing us tricks and playing helicopter. It was so cool. He was such a nice guy. I hope he comes back again.’"

The unexpected visit from Doherty made many students happy, according to Erin Jacobs, home and school association president and a mother working lunch duty that day.

“They called him the ‘hero on the playground,’” she said. “We hope that the police department will support and encourage more visits like this. What a great role model."