HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - A local cop goes above and beyond to help children in the neighborhood off Eagle Drive.
Josh Leach with the Hattiesburg Police Department makes time to play basketball with kids in the neighborhood during his shift.
"I think it makes a difference showing them a different perspective, they don't think the police are bad guys because we came out there and did this for them," Leach said.
Leach has been a police officer in Hattiesburg for two years and said it is important to stop by lower-income areas to make sure the kids are staying out of trouble and harm's way.
Leach shows he cares by performing little acts of kindness. About a month ago, he put together a new basketball hoop for the kids.
"It feels good, anytime you can do anything really positive for somebody, that's why we do this job, if you put on your uniform somewhere in you is the heart of a servant and when you can do something good for people," he said.
Leach said he does this to show the community that cops are here to help out. People in the neighborhood like Frank Adams said his good deeds do not go unnoticed.
"They are so amazed, that officers are coming in and they come in to have a goal," Adams said. "You see in here they have nowhere to play, but out in the street and he took it up on its own to help those children and that was very nice."
Overall, for Leach it feels good to spend time with kids in the neighborhood and establish trust within the community.
The cops also carry teddy bears in their cars to make children feel more comfortable around them.