Basketball brings children, law enforcement together
Published 1:07 pm Tuesday, October 5, 2021
Two Lake Charles Police officers are making positive waves on social media after being caught engaging in a two-on-two game of basketball with area youths while on patrol through their neighborhood.
“There’s nothing like getting shown up on the court” is the caption for the photos shared on the Lake Charles Police Department’s social media page last week of Officer Paul Williams and Cpl. Branden Guillory taking on the youths in a neighborhood the two had just finished responding to a disturbance call in.
The officers said they were patrolling when they saw the children playing basketball, and couldn’t pass up the chance to have some fun with the kids. While the game may have been for fun, the two also acknowledged there is a lot of meaning behind engaging community members, especially the youth.
“By interacting with the children, it instills trust in them along with their parents. It lets them know we are here for them and the community,” Guillory said.
Guillory is a U.S. Marine veteran, and has been with the LCPD for seven and a half years. As a Lake Charles native, Guillory said he believes community policing helps to show the “human behind the badge,” and takes a special pride in building up the communities that were once home to him.
“I love riding around the neighborhoods I grew up in and seeing the children playing outside,” he said.
Williams is a Mamou native and a rookie with the department, having only joined the LCPD in July.
Even in that short amount of time, Williams said he has already learned the importance of impromptu moments like the one shared with Guillory and the neighborhood kids.
“We want the community to have trust in the police, and we want the kids to know they are safe here,” Williams said.
The Lake Charles Police Department offers a number of programs to the community through its Community Policing Division. Officers are available to visit classrooms through the Read with Me program and to join students for school lunches through the Calcasieu Parish School Board’s Lunching with Law Enforcement program. Officers are also available to attend Neighborhood Watch meetings and other community-based meetings to address residents’ concerns and to help build stronger relationships within the community.
More information on these programs can be provided by calling 491-1311.