Uniformed, off-duty police officers are now at the Boys & Girls Club each day to greet children as they arrive on buses. Their duty — provide security, build relationships and lend a helping hand, whether it be with personal problems or math homework.

Inside the club, police officers, in addition to enhancing security, will establish better relationships with students by helping with school work, listening to concerns, sharing in friendly conversations and, when asked, offering solutions to problems some may be facing.

The new “Kids & Cops” program was made possible thanks to funds raised by STAND T.A.L.L. In January of this year, president Ron Kauffman met with Julia Hockenberry, executive director of the Boys & Girls Club, an organization that serves 1,100-plus youth ages 6-8 annually during out-of-school time, about starting the program.

While club members are diverse in age, gender, community and ethnicity, most have two challenges in common: fractured families and low-income households.

The program, to be funded by donations raised by Stand T.A.L.L., is designed to be collaborative with the Boys & Girls Club, providing hundreds of youth daily with an opportunity to engage in a positive interaction with law enforcement. Read more here.