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Cops and cards: Program changes how youth view police [Video]

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This is a good idea that more police departments should look into.

Some Baltimore City Police officers hung up their handcuffs Thursday and honed their game-playing skills.

A city police officer could be seen teaching card shuffling skills to a student at Guilford Elementary Thursday, while others helped with homework.

For the last three weeks on Thursdays, the officers have taken their lunch at the school. It’s part of the Big Brother, Big Sister program.

Students who seem to have formed a perception of officers from television find they are really not much different than other adults.

“It was fun for her to know I go home and cook dinner, go over homework with the kids, and she was like, ‘Really? I never knew a police officer did that,'” said Detective Sharon Talley.

But the stories about special assignments when big stars come to town are interesting.

“I think it’s kind of cool ’cause she’s been with superstars like people in Hollywood,” said Skyligah Hite.

Of course this helps the kids, but the police officers say it also helps the department by breaking down stereotypes and letting children know police officers are ordinary people.

“And some of them open up and talk, so you get a chance to interact with them. It’s just a great opportunity, person-to-person versus cop-to-kid,” said Deputy Commissioner Debbie Owens.

Read more and watch that story: Program Changes Perception Of Police Among Youths

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