Big Brothers Big Sisters chapters across the country have started the new Bigs in Blue program, pairing youth with those in police communities to foster trust.
Rodney Skirvin, president of the Broward County Police Benevolent Association, has been a big brother for a little over a year and a half. After coaching baseball for about 15 seasons, he knows the impact a good role model can have on youth.
"From the very first time I met [Little Brother], we had a connection," he says. "Every time he calls me and says 'Hey big brother, how you doing?' it makes my day. Anything beyond that is just icing on the cake"
Kenia Eugene, the Little Brother's mother, says the bond between her son and Skirvin has been amazing. Her son says he enjoys all the fun things he gets to do with his big brother and even wants to be a police officer when he grows up just like him.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Broward County approached Skirvin about getting officers involved in mentoring, and right away he said yes. The group visited multiple police departments and was able to get several officers signed up for the program.
"It can be a little intimidating to think about, I know a lot of officers were initially intimidated about it...if you're even thinking about it, then I say just do it."