Steelton police trading cop cars for skateboards
STEELTON, Pa. —
A police department in Dauphin County is making an effort to connect with youth in a special way.
Steelton Police officers are ditching their cruisers and hitting the pavement.
If you come to Steelton Skate Park you'll seen plenty of teens shredding it up, and an unexpected visitor for some: Steelton Police Officers.
"Some of the officers elected to be on the skateboard and come out here and work with the kids," said Anthony Minium. It's a requirement for officers to get out of the cruiser, whether it be on foot, bikes, or in this case on a skateboard.
Minium encourages his officers to hang out at the park to build better relationships.
"I can tell you story after story of kids that have been had some issues and since the skatepark they are our allies. They work with us, they’re respectful to us, they come up and talk to us, they come stop by the police station," Minium listed. "You’ll see out here they come out and talk to us it’s been amazing."
Abi Pacheco says he's been skating in Steelton for about 4 years, but never really got to know the officers. That's changed now.
"Actually we’ve been teaching them to skate now," said Pacheco. "So it’s been opening a bunch of relationships around Steelton, Harrisburg."
The kids here say the skate park has helped change how officers are viewed.
"Everybody gets along because they all have something in common," said 11 year-old Kassidy Martin. "They all like to have fun, skate, and do stuff."
It's a relationship the youth in the community appreciate."
"It’s kind of funny but it’s cool too, I mean you guys are trying so I give it you too," said Pacheco.
Minium is proud of the work they've done in community policing.
"Now they understand we’re here for them and they’re here for us."
He believes this is one of the safest places in the borough. He says it's an area that gets the least amount of police calls.