By: Noelani Mathews | WCTV Eyewitness News
June 6, 2019
THOMASVILLE, Ga. (WCTV) -- Thomasville police say community policing starts with engaging local youth.
"So many times you have parents that tell them the police is going to lock you up, and that's not what we're about," said Maurice Holmes with the Thomasville Police Department.
A detective for more than a decade, Holmes is now heading new efforts.
"A lot of times we'll deal with people at a young age then find them at older ages being exposed to things not positive," said Holmes.
He's helping expand community relations, like outreach programs for kids during the summer months.
"Who's to say law enforcement can't communicate with our local youth," said Holmes.
Whether it's through a free program that educates kids on safety, or even helping a kid's fear of dogs by meeting their police K9's.
"We learned red light means stop, yellow light means slow down and green means go," said Kelin Williams
"If you see a gun don't touch it and tell an adult," said Aubree Manning.
Williams and Manning both attended TPD's 'SafeTville' program this week. Local kids got to learn about public safety and more during three days of activities and classes.
"It's very important that they are able to learn and they don't have to be in the house all summer long," said Charmaine Murray with Thomasville's Boys and Girls Club.
"We might just be that one missing piece or that one line of communication or counselor that makes the difference of them being a positive role model," said Holmes.
Up next week, TPD plans to start its Junior Law Enforcement Academy on June 13.