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Metro officers volunteer as camp counselors

Reported by: Denise Rosch
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Updated: 4/17 7:14 am

LAS VEGAS (KSNV & MyNews3) -- Picnics, road trips, and hanging out by the pool are just some of the typical family activities during spring break.

But, for many underprivileged kids, a week off from school means a week of boredom.

One group of volunteers is trying to change that.

As news 3's Denise Rosch shows, a surprising group is bringing fun to the neighborhood.

“Line up right here, perfect,” shouts Metro police officer Darryl Mcdonald.

Camp counselors gather at an apartment complex near West Flamingo and Arville. A closer look at the men leading a hula hoop contest reveals men with side arms and badges. These are officers with the Metro police department's Enterprise Command.

"It's great. In the past I was a patrol officer enforcement squad, so dealing with these kids and seeing the other side of the spectrum in wonderful,” said Metro officer Luke Del Rosario.

With the help of corporate sponsors, Metro is bringing spring break to a neighborhood located in an area surrounded by casinos, but not many parks or recreation centers.

“Pretty much we got up and looked outside and everything was being set up and we're like, ‘cool,’” said parent J.C. Legare.

It was a nice surprise for his 10-year-old daughter and her friends.

“The police are doing such a wonderful job,” Legare said. “Normally you think about cops in a negative way like they're giving you a ticket or whatever.”

The afternoon included a piñata and a water balloon launcher. Many of the children attending might go hungry this week without the free breakfast and lunch they typically get at school.

“One of the children actually came up to us and asked if they could pocket the breakfast, and take it home for later,” Rosario said. “We told them they could have the breakfast and we had plenty more to give them.”

Police are in this neighborhood far too often for all the wrong reasons. Usually the police answer calls for burglaries, robberies and narcotics. Unfortunately, this is one of the highest crime areas for Enterprise Command.

Today yellow tape surrounds a play area, but this is not a crime scene.

“I think it's very good and I like it very much because it's all sports,” said 9-year-old Semere Mebretom.

Sports and bonding is letting the community know the officers are there to help during spring break and every other day of the year.

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