Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

New Partnership Puts Springfield Police Officers In P.E. Classes

Flickr via Creative Commons

The Springfield Police Department is partnering with Springfield Public Schools in a new program that puts officers in P.E. classes.

Police officers in Springfield have found a way to relate to the younger generation of the Springfield community by shooting hoops and running laps with middle school students.

The program is currently in four middle schools.

Brandon Keene is a Springfield police officer participating in the program.

“So the first visit we go there, it’s basically just interactive. Whatever the P.E. teacher has on the agenda we’re going to do it with them. In some cases that’s been kickball, in other cases it’s been some Rock-Paper-Scissors games with hula hoops where you kind of go up a pyramid,” Keene said.

Keene said it has been a challenge building relationships with the youth.

“But also our community’s a little unique, in a sense that the Springfield public school system has their own police department. And we’re not one and the same. And so our interactions with our youth in our community are pretty limited as a police department. And so our way of really interacting with people wasn’t really until they were out of high school,” Keene said.

Brad Brummel is the coordinator of physical education, health and engagement activities for Springfield Public Schools.

He says this has an impact on the kids.

"As those students and officers get to interact with each other, as they work out together, I call it sweat equity, as they sweat together that relationship forms and strengthens. And by visits two, three and four, those police officers look like they’re just another middle school student in the class just hanging out with their friends. I think that’s been the biggest impact from my opinion,” Brummel said.  

Brummel also said from an education standpoint they thought this was a great opportunity to show students the connection between their overall fitness and their potential career choices.