Local News

Fayetteville Police Give to Community

Posted December 9, 1997 12:00 a.m. EST

— In recent years, many police departments have begun to change their strategies with a return to the old-fashioned concept of community policing. The old idea has become a catch-phrase for the growing effort to work more closely with neighbors.

At first glance, what might seem like an average science class could actually be an after-school program for at-risk kids. Twice a week, volunteers work at the youth center at St. Ann's catholic church , tutoring children who live in public housing.

Captain Robert Fisher is one of two Fayetteville police officers who have become tutors here. He says there's a pleasant atmosphere there.

The two officers have volunteered their time for a couple of months now. They're not only helping kids learn, but also changing the way those children view police officers.

Ronnie Follan is the director of the tutoring program. She says the two officers are great with the kids.

Fisher says the children know they are police officers, but learn to see them as real people.

Student Jamar Cypress says it's nice to have friends on the police force.

With one student at a time, Captain Fisher makes headway, building a better bridge between the community and his department.

There are now 80 kids now enrolled in the youth center at Saint Ann's.

Photographer:Rick Allen