Police and deputies in Warren County are lending their time and talents to help mentor kids and better connect with the community they protect and serve. The goal is to build lasting relationships despite the ongoing violence in the nation.
Some Vicksburg Police officers hit the streets for a special assignment Thursday. They trekked to the local YMCA to bond with the young people and what better than to shoot some hoops.
“Why I like to hang out with police because they are fun and they, and they took their time to come out and play,” said teen Tyler Carter.
Despite the rash of violence across the nation involving police and blacks, teen Tyler Carter still has a positive attitude about those who protect and serve in Vicksburg.
“Anytime there is a disagreement with an officer, we should not be made to pay for it," said Chief Walter Armstrong. "We have some great officers across the country.”
Armstrong said he and his officers enjoy connecting with the people they serve because a simple act of kindness is what separates the good cops from the great ones. For example, his department sponsors a summer youth program every year and gives away school supplies.
“What I don't want to happen is the first encounter with the kids to be when they broke the law or got in trouble,” added Chief Armstrong.
Sheriff Martin Pace and his deputies also take pride in establishing trust and building relationships in Warren County.
“We were at a program yesterday, vacation bible school," said Pace. "We got the opportunity to show the kids a patrol car and they wanted us to sit and eat lunch with them.”
Lending time and a listening ear is something Pace and his team have been doing for 20 years. That positive impact is what helps keep peace and unity in a community.
“I think it is important they understand that we are available and we are here to help them,” said Pace.
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