Deputy Matthew Yates was at a family member’s birthday party when he was told by a cousin, who lives in the complex, about the young patrols. Yates then decided to stop by to check it out for himself.
When he drove into the complex, the boys ran out of the apartment — they almost gave him a citation for driving into the complex the wrong-way — but the boys let him go because he was a “fellow officer,” Strayer said.
The boys radio to each other while doing traffic stops and are well aware of driving laws, Yates said.
Strayer said they mainly focus on making sure drivers do not speed or drive the wrong-way in the complex. If drivers do, the boys will write citations for $2.
Some drivers have even paid the citation, Strayer said.
Yates was surprised the boys knew the process and laws so well.
“They know about protecting the community,” Yates said. “Keeping them safe.”
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Yates showed the boys the inside of the cruiser and turned the lights and sirens on.
The surprise visit was not planned and “made their day,” Strayer said of the deputy’s visit on Aug. 25. It was the day of Storm’s birthday party and made the visit extra special.
The boys have always wanted to become police officers, Strayer said.
“Maybe one day he will be their captain,” Strayer said.
Yates, who has worked for the sheriff’s office for 13 years, agrees with Strayer.
“If that’s what they wanna do, it’s a good career,” Yates said. “A good police officer could make a difference.”