CHARLOTTE, NC (FOX 46 WJZY) - For the last two years, Officer Daniel Redford and Officer Alex Cruz Have been helping kids improve their reading skills and building relationships between cops and kids in Steele Creek.
"They just look forward to spending time with us. There's a couple of kids there that read real well but they just want to come and hang out with us. Which is pretty cool because they look at us as Dan and Alex not as officer or officer,” CMPD Officer Alex Cruz said.
"We've had parents come up to us to tell us that just simply because of the time we've spent with them that they see a difference in their children's reading ability." CMPD Officer Daniel Redford said.
They realized early on books were hard to come by for many of the kids they were reading to.
FOX 46 Charlotte helped the duo get results and helped them spread their message and collected thousands of books. With that success, their "Reading with Cops" program is now going on the road.
Recently, they got the funds approved to buy a trailer and are retrofitting it to be a mobile library. This trailer hold over 3,000 books and can go anywhere in Charlotte, helping theses officers spread their program to the rest of the city.
"Got to maintain my man composure but it almost brings tears to my eyes because I actually have seen it from beginning to end and actually seen the development. It's definitely been a very fun and very exciting development to see it become what it is," Redford said.
They still have a lot to do, like finish the roof, get a generator and eventually wrap the trailer.
They had students from the Graphic Design program at CPCC create the design but now they need someone to donate the materials and time to make it happen.
Their hope is to be fully operational for the summer and continue to help kids and give them a way to stay out of trouble.
"Hopefully by having this up and giving them this as an outlet, maybe just give them a little time away from things they shouldn't be doing and maybe do something they should be doing instead," Cruz said.