Arlington PD teams up with student-athletes for mentoring program

The Arlington Police Department is hoping to build relationships with local high schools by mentoring student-athletes in several sports.

The program is called “Coach 5-0.” Arlington officers are adding more than just a presence of safety for the young athletes during their games.

The program began in 2015 after the tragic murder of Martin High School football player Carl Wilson.

Around 65 officers are placed with student athletes to hang out with them at practices, workouts and games.

"Every time they come to the game, they come with smiles on their face,” said player Jalan McDonald. “I introduce myself to all of them all the time. They're like a family to us."

Mentoring and giving advice is just the beginning.

"It's good to see them in their street clothes and not just their uniform,” said player Cade Gober. “You get to know them and shake their hand, introduce yourself to them."

The program is close to the heart of #84 Arlington Lamar player Robert Grimmett.

"I love the idea, especially with my father being in the Arlington Police Department,” he explained.

Grimmett said he’s already seen it change perceptions and lives.

"None of them seem to be like they don't want to be here,” he said. “They all seem like they're very intrigued, and they want to see us succeed. So I think that's awesome."

Coach 5-0 began with just football players until other sports wanted in. Now, both men and women officers are mentors to athletes across the district in just about every sport.

Just last week, Arlington ISD's athletic director approved the Coach 5-0 logo to be placed on high school football helmets.

"They're building relationships with our kids,” said football coach Laban DeLay. “And it's really made a difference, a positive influence, in our young men."

"Anywhere we can help them," said Officer Peter Athens. "We're hoping that's what we get out of this."

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