Feel-good story of the week

Officer Bobby White of the Gainsville, FL police department made approving headlines earlier last week when he responded to a complaint about kids playing basketball “loudly” in the street.  Rather than be a killjoy, he joined the game, and won the approval of the neighborhood for his friendly, non-coercive approach.

He told the kids he’d “bring backup” for another game . . . but his department came up with a larger-than-life backup that far exceeded everyone’s expectations.  Shaquille O’Neal (himself a reserve police officer) joined the cops for a pick-up game with the kids, to their joy and the excitement of their parents.

Now that’s how to build good community relations, right there!  Full marks to Gainesville PD – and to Shaq – for going the extra mile and setting an example to other law enforcement agencies.



  1. I've become far less inclined to view all police officers automatically as knights in shining armor than when I was younger, and more inclined to caution and reminding myself that they are agents of the state, with incredible amounts of power over individuals in day-to-day matters, and whatever the consequences might be *after the fact* for bad cops who abuse that power, that doesn't matter at the time the power is being abused…so (I remind myself to) step carefully when they are nearby…but I haven't changed so much that I can't be filled with joy at hearing about stories like this one. What a guy! What a COP! Awesome!

    PS: don't misunderstand me, I know policing is a incredibly hard, dangerous job, and I *do* respect the men (and women) who choose to do that job, and do it honorably. It's just that I've realized that not all policemen and women are automatically good people just because they are policemen…and that's a scary, if obvious, realization to have. I don't know if I've explained myself well, but hope springs eternal, heh. 😀

  2. That's how community policing is supposed to work. Not cops as our lords and masters, but cops as human beings, and servants to the community. Leading by example, not threat.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *