Homework with an officer program helps youth connect with police

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COLUMBUS, Ind. (August 11, 2015)– Columbus Police Department's popular "Homework with an officer" program started back up this week. It's a program that's connecting kids with police officers and making a big impact in the community.

Officers volunteer their time to sit down with elementary students each week to help students with their homework. Once their homework is completed, officers play games with the children.

"I like how they can help us if we need help for anything. I like how they are nice to us," said student Libby Brockman.

The department started the program in 2012.  More than three dozens students participated this week.

"I thought it would be scary because I had never talked to an officer.  Now, I am OK with it because it is really fine," explained student Libby Brockman.

Parents are also appreciative of the program.

"It shows the kids that police ain't bad, and they are there to help them in any situation they get into," said mother Nikki Blaizard.

Officers say it's a chance for them to give back to the community in a different way and to show young people that police can be trusted.

"It helps them with their homework, but in today`s world what is happening in Ferguson and Baltimore it has helped to develop a friendship with the kids and the community.  It gives them a chance to know us more than just the uniform," explain Officer John Velten.

The program will continue each week during the school year. Officers will be at the Pence Apartments Clubhouse on Mondays from 4-5 p.m. and then at the Eastside Community Center on Tuesdays from 4-5 p.m.

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