CHARLOTTE, NC (FOX 46) - Thursday afternoons at The Woodstone Apartments - kids are excited to see police officers.
“It’s totally different now. They’re happy to see us," Officer Wilkinson said.
Officers are seen putting children in the back of a patrol car - just for fun. It's a much different scene now then just a few short years ago said Apartment Manager Rindy Kirkman.
“You used to come on the property and police cars would show up and everyone would scatter and run away, and now they run to these officers," Kirman explained.
“They didn’t know how to handle us. What they see, what they hear about us...but now they know that we’re actually people and that were here to help them," Officer Wilkinson said.
Thursdays are also Reading Day, where Officer Wilkinson has a captive audience.
“I have seen their grades improve, their reading skills have improved, parents love it," Officer Wilkinson explained.
This is the core of community policing for CMPD - the tutoring and mentoring program at Woodstone has received much acclaim. Officers expose the children to many things - like horseback riding.
“We did pumpkins for them in October and parents would cry just seeing that we actually care about the kids enough to bring them stuff, show them that we’re here to help them," Officer Wilkinson said.
“It has it’s made a difference in not only the children’s lives but the people that live here," Rindy said.