Source: KY New Era; Thursday, May 14, 2015
Club Bests Officers, but Who Really Won?
Hopkinsville police got more than they asked for Wednesday when 13 officers played a friendly game of basketball with children at Boys and Girls Club.
The boys and girls won 53-30, but perhaps more importantly, many left with the impression they were playing more than just police officers.
Terrence Davis, director of the Boys and Girls Club, who served as the announcer for the game, said he and HPD Chief Clayton Sumner decided about three months ago that they should come up with a way for the children to see the police officers outside of their normal duties.
Sumner has also mandated that his officers participate in community activities such as this as part of the department’s community policing program.
Sgt. Todd DeArmond explained the game gave the children a chance to see their faces and know the officers on a personal level, that they are more than just badges.
The plan seemed to work, as all three of the children interviewed after the game said they trust the officers more now than they did before.
In turn, Sumner said he had never seen so many officers smile.
“For us, these kids taught us a lot,” he said.
“Not only do you all come here, dedicate your time, you are doing it to make your academics better also,” the police chief continued, directing his attention to the children. “Talking to a young man who is going to (Western Kentucky University) so y’all are teaching us. Y’all are showing us you can have a good time, you can have fun, we can play together, work together. We improve our education, including myself — I’m still in college — we can help make our community better.”
According to Arthur McKnight and two of his team members, Donterius Parker and Isaiah Forrest, it was a highly anticipated matchup. Davis said the students were talking about it for a while and plan on taking on the officers again, with hopes it will be sooner than later.
The feeling was mutual.
“This is just the beginning,” DeArmond said. “We got other plans in the works for the summer so we can be a part of this. We really enjoy it. It’s our pleasure to come down here and every time I’m down here, I meet fantastic young men and women.”
Additionally, the officers are planning to have a Citizen’s Police Academy just for the Boys and Girls Club.