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Fayetteville Police Give to Community

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Two Fayetteville police officers are volunteers tutors at St. Ann's Youth Center.
FAYETTEVILLE — In recent years, many police departmentshave begun to change their strategies with a return to theold-fashioned concept of community policing. The old idea has become acatch-phrase for the growing effort to work more closely with neighbors.

At first glance, what might seem like an average science classcould 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, tutoringchildren who live in publichousing.

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

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

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

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

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

With one student at a time, Captain Fisher makes headway, building abetter 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

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