DPD brings nationwide program to Twin Ports; Bridges gap between cops and kids

By KBJR News 1

June 15, 2014 Updated Jun 15, 2014 at 11:06 AM CDT

Duluth, Minn. (NNCNow.com) --- With the help of many organizations in the Northland, the Duluth Police Department has brought a nationwide program to the Twin Ports.

The Police Activities League has seen success across the country. Now that success is being seen in Northland communities.

“There are a lot of obstacles that kids have to go through now a’ days that they shouldn’t have to,” Officer Tom Sewell said.

The life of a police officer is not all about solving crimes. It is about something more.

“You get the unique opportunity to help people and you get to do something new every day,” Sewell said.

On Saturday, Duluth Police Officers and kids shared moments; the kind of moments that will build bonds of trust.

“We want the kids to run to us, not away from us,” Sewell said. “The kids just connected to me. At first it was like, ‘Oh, it’s a cop, someone is in trouble,’ I’ve been going in and out for a couple of months and now I’m like their best friend.”

Officer Sewell and the DPD are bringing a new program to town that is aiming to build positive attitudes towards police officers.

“It’s easy to build those relationships, this is our part of trying to do that,” Sewell said.

Some studies show that if kids respect police officers on the ball field, they will come to respect the laws police officers enforce.

Caleb, one of the kids who participated in Saturday’s activities, wants to be a police officer or fire fighter when he grows up.

“He loves police officers, he loves fire fighters,” Caleb’s mom said. “We said, we aren’t doing anything else on a Saturday, it’s going to be rainy, so let’s go.”

For Pearl and Ruby, they prefer dribbling the ball for their basketball team, The Rookies.

“We don’t win every game,” Pearl said. “But we still have fun about it.”

Fun: that is a word one will hear from everyone who participated in D-PAL’s first event Saturday.

“We don’t care about the home life, we don’t care about money,” Sewell said. “We are providing the activities for the kids for free.”

Just like being a police officer, Saturday’s event was about something more.

“Everyone has the same goal, it is to reach out to the kids,” Sewell said. “And help them so they don’t go down the wrong road later in life.”

D-PAL will be hosting another event in August. For the latest details on upcoming D-PAL events and how to contribute, follow this link: https://www.facebook.com/DuluthPoliceActivitiesLeague

Nick Minock