The four officers are founders and coaches for the Watts Bears -- a youth football program that serves children in South Central Los Angeles neighborhoods. Created by LAPD officers from the Southeast Division, the officers coach and mentor student-athletes in football and track and field.
The athletic teams were created to give underprivileged youth a chance to play organized sports and to positively change the historically strained relationship between the police and the community of Watts. To be eligible to participate, the student-athletes have to meet standards in school, stay out of trouble and possess a desire to positively contribute to society.
The officers -- along with other volunteer coaches and mentors in involved in the program -- use sports as a vehicle to introduce and promote strong moral character, positive values, personal responsibility and a commitment to academics. They stress structure, discipline, team spirit, friendship, and positive competition.