Metro Police program distributes books for kids, by kids
Metro is hoping to expand a program that's helping to break down barriers in the Valley. Video by ktnv.comvideo
Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department is hoping to expand a program that's helping to break down barriers in the Valley.
Officers armed with books are reaching out to children. The idea seems simple, but there's a lot more to it. It's one of the softer sides of policing -- building trust among some of the most innocent in our community, who are also our future leaders.
With pencils, crayons and deep concentration, kids at Walter Long Elementary are putting their ideas to paper. The only requirement is that their stories are positive and uplifting, because they're targeted for a special audience.
"Those books then go to officers on my team, the downtown area command, and then we take those books and pass them out in the field to other children who may be going through traumatic situations," Sergeant Christopher Curtis said.
Whether at a crime scene, an emergency call or out patrolling the streets, these books by kids, for kids help Metro officers do their jobs.
"This breads a culture and an environment where police are approachable," Sgt. Curtis said.
Right now the Books to Smile program is only at Walter Long Elementary. Students, teachers and parents there meet outside of school time to work on the books.
Teacher Tari Smethurst, who helped start this 'Books to Smile' program, said it also promotes reading and writing, and helps her students find their voice.
"To be a part of the solution, to be a part of what's going on good in their community, they're writing for a real audience, for the children of Las Vegas," Smethurst said. "They're writing for a real purpose."