‘Community policing at its finest’: cops called on kids playing soccer, officers join game

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‘Community policing at its finest’: cops called on kids playing soccer, officers join game
WATCH: Officers in Birmingham, Al. decided to join in on a soccer match after they were called by a citizen to shut down the kids' game – May 24, 2016

When Birmingham, Al. police officers were called to break up a game of soccer played by neighbourhood kids, they decided to join in on the fun instead.

“There’s one person who continuously calls [the police] and kind of wants us to tell them to go inside, and I’m not going to do that. I can’t ethically tell children to stop playing,” officer Jordan Burke told WBRC.

According to Burke, the children, aged six to 10, live in an impoverished neighbourhood without a playground. The children were playing in the parking lot of a tractor company, whose workers do not mind having their lot used as a soccer pitch after office hours.

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“That area, there isn’t much out there for them to do,” Burke told local news site “There are a lot of burned-out buildings and I’d rather them be playing soccer in a parking lot than playing in a burned-out building.”

Burke posted a video of the impromptu soccer match on Facebook with the caption:

“Please stop calling the police telling us to tell children to stop playing outside. This will be the result every time.”

Since the video was recorded, the officers said they have been making efforts to drop by the kids’ soccer matches during their breaks on a daily basis. They are also asking the community at large for sports gear donations to ensure the children are safer while they play.

In the video, Burke says to the camera, “That, my friends, is community policing at its finest. Getting our butts handed to us by a group of little kids playing soccer.”

Burke said he and his fellow officers want the children to perceive police as friendly and helpful rather than being scared of them.

“It would be great if people see us as people who are there to help you. We want your kids to run to us, not away from us,” he said.

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