Hoops, not crime. That's the movement happening in communities around the country, and it's caught on in Pittsfield. Our Jim Vasil joined a Pittsfield police officer as he surprised kids in the City with some new equipment, for the game many hope has an impact beyond the lines on the court.
PITTSFIELD, Mass. -- In a normal instance, you don't want to see a police cruiser pull up to your house.
But if you see that it is Officer Darren Derby of the Pittsfield Police Department, more likely than not, your day is about to be made.
Derbys’ bringing a national movement to the City, and it's nothing but net.
"It's really us being able to get that one-on-one connection," said Derby.
It began with an officer in Gainesville, Florida who played a game of basketball with neighborhood kids. It spurred the Basketball Cop Foundation, which, through the game, brings kids and cops together. Pittsfield Police has taken donations by the bucket load.
"That's why I think it's such a successful thing, it doesn't take much to get a basketball hoop into a community and to hand a kid a basketball," said Stephen Murray, Field Leader of Action EMS, which donated two hoops and more than a dozen basketballs.
"Whether it's the basketballs or going to the parks, going to the schools, it's showing them a little more each time with our interaction that you know what, it's okay, we have their back," said Derby.
There often comes a moment in basketball when the game transcends reality. It doesn't always happen when the score is tied with five seconds left in the fourth quarter. Sometimes, it's a game, on a city street, and one of the players wears a badge.