Officer gaining praise for random act of kindness

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GRAND CHUTE, Wis. (WBAY) -- A community service officer in Grand Chute, Wisconsin is being commended for going above and beyond the call of duty, buying a basketball for a child who was out shooting hoops.

Boy holding basketball
Screenshot from Grand Chute Police Dept. body camera

Out on routine patrol in Carter Woods Park on a week ago, Al Fenrich came across a boy shooting hoops without a basketball.

According to Fenrich, "I said, 'What are you doing shooting basketball with a flat soccer ball?' And he just looked at me and said, 'I've never had a basketball and I don't know how to go and get a basketball.'"

CSO Fenrich asked the boy to wait for him at the park, and that he'd be right back. The bodycam the officer was wearing captured his return to the park as he handed the boy, that Fenrich identified as 11-year-old Chase, the brand new basketball he had just purchased for him.

"We ended up shooting, he and I shot together. We played a little PIG and he ended up beating me, and it wasn't because I let him beat me. He was shooting good," says Fenrich.

The actions of the officer didn't go unnoticed. The adults with Chase at the park took a picture of the officer with the boy and shared it with the Grand Chute Police Department who in turn posted it to its Facebook page.

Fenrich said he didn't stop to talk with the boy or buy him the basketball for the attention; it's just something he thought was the right thing to do.

"The best thing for me is going home at the end of the day and knowing that I made a difference in somebody's day, whether little or big, and especially for a little kid like him," he said.

Fenrich is scheduled to graduate from Fox Valley Tech's recruit academy on May 12. Just three days later, he will start his full time job as an officer with Grand Chute, where he hopes to have more interactions like the one in Carter Woods Park.

"It definitely an experience for me that I won't ever forget and it's something that I will look forward to doing more and more, especially as I go on through my career," he said. "It's something that I always look forward to doing."

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