Arlington, TX: A Community Policing Story Arlington, TX - A Community Policing Story - Page 18
Our police department collaborated with multiple institutions—such as the school district,
judge’s office, and business leaders—and began to develop a core curriculum for a 12-month
cycle where officers, educators, professionals, and many others would come together to mentor
young men in junior high school. The program, launched in July 2015, provides leadership,
team building, education, and career development to primarily African-American and
Hispanic male students in the seventh and eighth grades, supporting them in everything—
from preparing for college, to learning how to properly tie a tie, to interacting with the police.
Q: What inspired the creation of the Coach 5-0 program?
Coach 5-0 was created by Arlington Police Chief Will Johnson and former Arlington Indepen-
dent School District Athletic Director Kevin Ozee following a local tragedy, where Carl
Wilson—a promising 18-year-old football player at Martin High School—was shot and killed
on January 12, 2015. This program is designed to be a show of partnership between coaches and
the police department, where officers are
paired with athletic teams at different
I lost my father at a young age, so . . .
schools to build relationships with
students. The idea is for officers to come
this program ensures that father figure
out of their uniforms—to be present at
student athletic events, lift weights with
[in] your life, someone that you can talk athletes, and encourage students in their
natural environment—in order to build
to every day, someone that’s gonna
trust with young people.
work out next to you, run with you—
it’s an amazing chance.”
Coach 5-0 youth participant
Similar to the MAY Program, Coach 5-0
is designed to show young people that
police officers are here to support them
and that we’re a part of the community;
however, the Coach 5-0 program focuses
on high school athletes, as opposed to
the MAY Program, which focuses on at-
risk youth in junior high school.
Q: What were some of the challenges you encountered?
In many minority communities, a primary challenge is that people do not trust the police.
This mistrust can originate from one person having a negative experience or from secondary
generational trauma. As such, minority communities can be very suspicious of the police and
want to understand why we, as officers who would normally choose enforcement action if their
child broke the law, want to mentor their youth instead. We assured parents that we would be
there as active members of the community to support their child, whether he or she is doing
something good or something bad, regardless of the circumstances.
Arlington, TX: A Community Policing Story