(NEW YORK) — A police officer in Bellevue, Washington, is using unconventional ways to do outreach and build trust in his community.
Officer Craig Hanaumi skateboards with children and teens at a local indoor skate park and plays the trombone with students involved in the local school district’s music program.
“It’s just a very organic way to build positive relationships without having a scripted sit-down,” Hanaumi told ABC News. “I enjoy it, the kids seem to enjoy it — and the best part is that it doesn’t feel artificial, forced or anything like that.”
Hanaumi documents a lot of his interactions on Instagram, where he’s amassed over 8,600 followers.
“Unfortunately, a lot of the negative stuff about our profession has been overshadowing a lot of the good things that happen,” he said. “So I wanted to have visual evidence of the good things that are happening within our department.”
Hanaumi said he and the other officers of the Bellevue Police Department “also feel so lucky” to be able to work in a city “that embraces diversity and supports us.”
“It’s also definitely in our best interest to keep it that way,” he added. “Community support makes every aspect of our job easier. It’s easier to investigate, solve and prevent crimes — plus it makes life more enjoyable for everyone, officers and civilians alike.”
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