By: Julie Montanaro | WCTV Eyewitness News
June 23, 2017
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- We're used to seeing officers in uniform amid lights and sirens.
Some of them are moonlighting this summer court side.
They're grabbing their whistles to coach kids in the game of basketball and the game of life.
More than 100 kids are practicing right now and getting ready for their first game in a league called TPAL: The Tallahassee Police Athletic League.
"We're gonna get that 'W'!" Delandre LeConte said.
The children ages 10 -15 are anxious to improve their ball handling and footwork.
"I wanna be a basketball star," David LeConte said.
Most of their coaches are police officers.
Others like Monique Ewell are fans of TPAL and keeping kids safe and off the streets in the summer.
"Anybody that's willing to learn it, I'm willing to teach it," Ewell said.
TPAL dishes up lots of drills and skills, but for Tallahassee Police it's much more. It's a chance to get to know young people in the community and a chance for children to see officers in a different light.
"Usually there's so much negativity right now with law enforcement that this is a way not only to give back, but to show that there's other things they do in the community," Ewell said.
This year TCC women's head coach Franqua Bedell is helping TPAL boost the basics and kids self esteem.
"You've had some kids that have come out of their shell and are having more confidence. They're going to have fun and that's the big thing, learn and then have fun," Bedell said.
TPAL is hosting a basketball tournament Saturday, June 24.
First responders, including police and firefighters, are facing off against each other all afternoon in a tournament they call "Guns and Hoses"
The first game starts at 2 p.m. at the TCC gym. The Chamionship game starts at 7:20 p.m.