COATESVILLE, Pa. (WTXF) - A visit from police officers to playground in Coatesville has a lot of folks talking, in a good way.
The officers just donated a much needed new basketball net.
"We kind of thought we'd have a positive reaction to lights and sirens that normally we don't see," said Chief
Positive turned into ecstatic when the kids on Elm Street in Coatesville saw what was hitched to the back of Chief Jack Laufer's police cruiser.
A brand new, state of the art basketball hoop, complete with brand new balls. It was perfect timing.
"We needed one really bad, but no one was talking about it," said Djaqir Brasch.
16-year-old Brasch says growing up around here has been okay, but not without its share of struggles.
"My family has been through a lot with the cops," Brasch said.
For him, the hoop carries a measure of hope.
"I think it's going to bring us closer together with everything and hopefully everyone can get along better," Brasch explained.
It all started inauspiciously. Over the last month, Chief Laufer saw an uptick in the calls his officers were getting to the neighborhood. During those calls, they noticed the neighborhood's shabby basketball hoop - complete with old tires for weights.
The chief and his Sgt., Rodger Ollis saw an opportunity.
"This is a neighborhood net that is shared and loved and cared for," said Sgt. Ollis.
"We recognized the need to give back to the community we serve from a different perspective," said Chief Laufer.
The department teamed up with the nonprofit Basketball Cop Foundation out of Florida - they sent the new gear. Coatesville off-duty officers set it up.
"Put together by guys that have your back. Remember that," Sgt. Ollis explained.
The message came through loud and clear.
"Thank you!" the kids cried out.