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WPOA Hoops Program for the Boys & Girls Club
Thank you to Jessica Peralta of Behind the Badge for featuring one of the ways we give back to our local community - the annual Westminster Police Officer's Association Hoops Program! Read an excerpt of the story below:
For many of the kids in the Westminster Police Officer’s Association Hoops program, playing in a basketball league isn’t an option.
“A lot of them aren’t able to afford to pay for a league outside of the Boys & Girls Club,” said Jeovan Davila, chief professional officer at the Boys & Girls Club of Westminster. “It’s a good opportunity for the kids to do something that they wouldn’t otherwise have the opportunity to do.”
The program, which runs for eight weeks between January and March, recently concluded another successful season.
“We see a lot of kids [return],” said Westminster Sgt. Scott Gump, who along with Sgt. Mike Harvey runs the program.
About five years ago Gump helped restart Hoops after a six-year hiatus. Their partnership with the Boys & Girls Club of Westminster involves six area elementary and middle schools (and their students).
Gump said the goal of the program is two-fold, including providing a youth sports league for children who wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford to join one. The second is to provide a forum for local kids to see officers out of their uniforms.
“Provide mentorship and let them know that we are normal people that are pillars in the community just like they are,” Gump said.
Officers and dispatchers volunteer their time to coach the children in practice once or twice a week and for games that take place on Saturdays. As part of the program, each child is issued a uniform with their school’s logo. The Westminster Police Officer’s Association sponsored program is free for the kids.