LYNCHBURG, Va. (WFXR) – They put their lives on the line to keep our communities safe, but police officers, firefighters, EMS workers, and others who wear badges for a living, do so much more.
WFXR News is excited to share their stories, their hidden talents, their dedication, in our series of reports “Behind The Badge.”
Lynchburg police officer Tereika Grooms is making her community better through basketball. When she was younger, Grooms was not a fan of the police.
Tereika Grooms, Lynchburg Police officer – “I just grew up in a family where police were always called. I didn’t have the best perspective of police.”
But she was a huge fan of basketball.
Tereika Grooms, Lynchburg Police officer – “I’m around basektball 24/7.”
She is talented and her love of basketball helped lead her to become a police officer. As she worked for Lynchburg’s Parks and Recreation Department, she developed a passion for youth.
She was good with them. She wanted them to live rewarding, legal lives. After interacting with other officers through Parks and Rec, and with some encouragement, she decided to give police work a try.
Tereika Grooms, Lynchburg Police officer – “And I enjoy it. I love it. Wouldn’t trade it for anything.”
Now she’s making an even bigger difference in teens’ lives through basketball. Grooms founded “Push Skills, ” an effort to get teens in our area focused on their futures.
They don’t just play basketball. They also get help for the classroom, preparing for SATs, even trips to potential colleges. It’s all about investing in them. And Grooms is good at that, too.
Tereika Grooms, Lynchburg Police officer – “This is not something you can do once a month and put it down and come back to it. This is something you have to do every week, weekly, daily. You have to continue at it if you want to make the change.”
And it’s all making her a better officer, particularly when dealing with youth.
Tereika Grooms, Lynchburg Police Officer – “Sometimes they feel more comfortable maybe speaking with me versus another officer just because of the relationships that I’ve developed.”
It’s clear Tereika Grooms cares and is making a difference behind the badge.
Tereika Grooms, Lynchburg Police Officer – “Helping our youth, guide them. I don’t want our youth to think that anytime they are in trouble is the only time they see police.”
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