YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — Problem: The basketball courts at the Plaza View apartment complex did not have nets.
Solution: City police Officer Michael Medvec.
When Medvec, who patrols an East Side beat near the housing complex noticed on one of his daily walks around the grounds that the nets were missing, he got new ones.
When the ante was upped and those nets were taken down, Medvec answered in kind. He got metal nets, which are harder to cut down.
He also left exercise equipment for the kids to use. And he paid for all of it out of his own pocket.
His superiors said that Medvec, who declined to be interviewed for this story, is no exception, as officers often step in when they see a need, with little fanfare and often paying for things out of their own pockets.
There were officers last year on the East Side beat who pitched in and got the heat turned on for a woman who moved back into her apartment and also bought her groceries. And they typically hand out turkeys and other gifts during the holiday season as well.
Christine Cordy, the property manager at Plaza View, said the kids always use the court, but they were happier to have nets when they played.
“They were definitely appreciative and commented to me that they liked it,” Cordy said.
Cordy said other officers have pitched in as well, with treats or ice cream for kids in the complex. She said having the officers not only help the kids with treats or equipment but to stop and talk to them, is an investment that she hopes pays off in the future.
“To us, our kids, knowing that police officers are for them and not against them is something that’s needed, not just in our community, but our state and our country.”
Medvec’s supervisor, Lt. Frank Rutherford, said Medvec walks through the complex every day when he is working. He said Medvec is very good at interacting with kids.
Staff Inspector Lt. Brian Butler lauded both Medvec and Rutherford for their community policing type approach at Plaza View.
“This is a perfect example of true community policing at its best and the result of strong leadership and caring officers,” Butler said.