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Las Vegas officers reveal identities after volunteering at Boys and Girls Club without uniforms

Posted at 6:13 PM, Aug 17, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-17 22:12:28-04

A Boys and Girls Club in Las Vegas had a special group of visitors this summer.

Five volunteers came every week to the Ralph and Betty Engelstad Clubhouse near Maryland Parkway and Twain Avenue.

They built relationships with the kids, then in the eighth week, the volunteers revealed themselves to be Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department officers. 

"Before they even get to know that they're cops, we wanted them to meet the person behind the badge," said Mike Mota, the director of the clubhouse.

It was Mota's idea to create a partnership with Metro and have the officers pose as regular volunteers.

Las Vegas police posted a video to its Facebook page documenting the summer and the big reveal.

Sgt. Phil Mortimer led the squad of volunteers.

He says impressions of law enforcement are developed at a young age, so it was important to do it this way and not blind the kids from the start with the uniform and the badge.

"A lot of these kids expressed to me off camera that they're being raised with a lot of dislike toward the police so we were able to head that off and make a difference," Mortimer said. "I know we made a difference."

Mortimer says the officers will continue to volunteer throughout the school year.

Other Boys and Girls Clubs are looking into running similar programs.