If you can’t quiet ’em down, shoot some hoops with the noisy kids.
In what seems to be a trend, of sorts, several police officers have responded to noise complaint calls over children playing outdoor basketball by shooting hoops with the young, uh, offenders, rather than bust up the game.
In the most recent instance, a handful of Clay County Sheriff's deputies are getting some Facebook love after a neighbor’s post showed the officers joining in on a game of pickup basketball on Saturday. The deputies had responded to a possible noise complaint in the Jacksonville area, News4Jax reported.
Sydney Brunetti captured the moment on her Facebook page. She wrote that she is happy to see the boys outside instead of getting into trouble elsewhere.
“Someone probably called in a noise complaint or something,” she wrote. “Instead of these officers making them go home and instead of being jerks ... they played basketball with them. You won’t find many kids shooting hoops anymore. Be happy they’re doing that and not on the streets shooting up.”
One of the officers’ moms weighed in on Brunetti’s post.
“Glad to see the kids out playing in the neighborhood instead of out getting into trouble. Have to say … he was probably the one out there that could not even play … ,” posted Tiffany Phillips.
If you think you’ve heard about basketball-playing police before, you have.
In January 2016, a Gainesville police officer joined a group of kids after someone complained about them for playing basketball outside. Officer Bobby White lowered the hoop to make it easier for the tykes to make their shots, dribbled the ball, and delivered a slam dunk of his own that left the boys wowed, Today reported at the time.
A Gainesville Police Department public information officer told Today: “It’s no secret that the national conversation is that the relations between police and citizens have not been great at all. We need to focus our efforts on kids committing crimes — not on kids playing basketball and laughing in the Florida sun.”
Former Miami Heat and Lakers basketball star Shaquille O’Neal, who was working as a reserve cop in Doral in 2016, was so impressed he headed out to Gainesville later that month to play a pickup game with some surprised kids. White returned to join Shaq on the court with the kids.