LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - Cops are often known for chasing down bad guys, but one Lake Charles Police Officer is running for a different reason.
Sr. Cpl. Mitchell Sawyer teaches workout classes in his front yard during the summer for local kids.
The kids, as young as 7 years old, are spending their days off school flipping tires and running sprints.
“I wanted these kids to get out here and learn the value of hard work," said Sawyer.
It all started about a year ago, when Sawyer decided he wanted more than just video games and TV to be the theme of his kids’ summer.
“I want them to be kids, and I want them to have fun, but you don’t learn doing that kind of stuff," Sawyer said. "You don’t learn about yourself doing that kind of stuff.”
It started with just a few kids, and now kids from all over the neighborhood walk and bike to Sawyer’s home three times a week to join in on the classes.
Sawyer works to create an environment of friendship, motivation and encouragement in the classes.
He said he’s hoping the lessons they learn will go beyond the class, and stick with the kids for the rest of their lives.
“Their character and their work ethic is pretty awesome," Sawyer said. "And I think the biggest thing that makes me very proud is, hopefully this little thing that we’re doing now, can translate to them being good adults one day. That’s kind of the point of it.”
The kids said they encourage anyone who can to come join the class, and if they can’t, to start one of their own.
Sawyer plans on continuing the classes throughout the summer, and for many more summers to come.