Bellevue's 'skateboarding cop' bridges gap with teens

KING 5's Ryan Takeo reports.

On Saturday, police in King County tried to bridge the gap between the community and local police departments.

Cortez Charles was one of the Teen Peace Festival organizers. He’s a part of the community group T.O.K.E.N., or Teaching Our Kids to Educate the Next. The event included musical performances and pickup basketball.

“We often look at law enforcement and think all negativity. And some law enforcement look at our youth and some kids on the streets and think all negativity,” he said. “We’re going to change that whole perception and the only way you can change that perception is by engaging with each other in events such as this.”

Also at that event, there was a police officer who brings more than his badge to the park -- he brings a skateboard.

Bellevue Police Officer Craig Hanaumi is known as the “skateboarding cop."

“It’s a different way to connect with the community,” he said. “It just looks good weird to have an officer skateboarding or I guess do anything in uniform.”

The officer has received internet fame for his unique outreach, but he said he does it to build trust from teens who might have a negative view of cops.

“When we go to calls, we get sent because something’s wrong and if that’s the only context that we’re seen in, of course, people are going to connect this to something bad,” Ofc. Hanaumi said.

“It’s pretty dope because he has a cop uniform on,” said 14-year-old Sirjahinez, while watching on his bicycle.

© 2017 KING-TV


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