Roanoke police officers go beyond the badge, play pickup basketball

Video on department's Facebook page goes viral

By Jessica Jewell - Weekend Anchor / Reporter

ROANOKE, Va. - A viral video that's racked up more than 30,000 views shows Roanoke City police officers taking to the streets not to fight crime, but to connect with the community.

Three officers were responding to a call in southeast Roanoke Sunday when

Sgt. Teddy Lovell saw a group of kids playing basketball nearby.

"I asked them if I could take a shot and they were a little reluctant at first, but then one of them threw me the ball and I started shooting with them and goofing off with them, and they started warming up and calling me old man," Lovell said.

Officers Chelsea Faber and Spencer Snead weren't far behind.

"They're a little quicker than us ‘cause we have a lot more gear on when we're playing," Faber said.

"Actually, Sarge drained a three right, first shot, so I felt like I had to do something but I think I air-balled it," Snead said.

Faber decided to shoot the video to share just one example of officers going beyond the badge.

"We’re out here constantly looking for the bad and it's important that you find that good," Lovell said.

It's a message they're trying to share with kids in particular.

"They can see that we're out here to have fun and interact with everybody not just write tickets and take people to jail,” Snead said.

"We’re hoping that by implementing ourselves into their life now that our interactions later will be better,” Faber said.

Community policing is nothing new for these officers. They certainly didn't expect this video showing one example of it to go viral, but they hope the overwhelming response will remind people they're not only serving the community, they're a part of it.

"We’re all on the same team,” Faber said.

This game won't be their last.

"We lost, but... rematch soon in the future, I’m sure,” Snead said.

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