Raleigh, N.C. — Kelly Ann Kinney is not your average swim teacher.
Although she's giving lessons this summer to a group of children at the Lake Johnson Pool, Kinney is actually a Raleigh police officer who has traded in her police uniform for a bathing suit to help prevent water-related tragedies.
The former life guard presented an idea to her department to teach Hispanic children in the department's district in southwest Raleigh how to swim.
"We were basically given free rein to find a problem in our area – our beat area – and come up with a solution," Kinney, an officer of eight years, said.
For the past three weeks, she has spent 40 minutes each day with a group of middle-school girls teaching them the basics of swimming and how to learn confidence in the water.
"It's really a problem-solving approach," Kinney said. "Rather than being reactive, we're trying to be proactive"
Kinney hopes to expand the program next summer, but most importantly, she also hopes the students will share what they have learned.
"We'd love for them to become lifeguards and teach the people in their communities how to swim."