Sgt. Randy Sutton created the Cops and Kids organization to introduce children to police officers and what they do. Mr. Sutton has introduced Metro officers to the Classroom On Wheels (COW) Pre-K students. He began this service in 2000 after he learned about the COW program. Mr. Sutton then arranged for police officers to visit the COW buses and read to the children. Mr. Sutton’s first experience with the children was a testimony that his Cops and Kids is an important program. The COW preschoolers live in high crime neighborhoods where police officers are not always welcome. The first time Mr. Sutton visited the mobile classrooms, the parents were very concerned and the children were wary of him. Mr. Sutton’s first question to the group was, “Do you know what police officer’s do?” The children advised they arrest bad people, but Sutton advised the arrest GOOD people that sometimes do bad things. Immediately a glass wall dropped and the community welcomed Sutton.
Mr. Sutton introduced police officers into the lives of early childhood development in a very positive way. He recognized that the children the Metro officers serve are the very same children who witness domestic violence and need school readiness. He used the innovative COW program along with his Cops and Kids program to solve a problem of joining police officers and children in a non-threatening way. The officer’s are also privy to the lives the children lead and they can be an encouragement and a positive role model for them.
To date, Mr. Sutton has recruited many officers to the program so they can read to the students. In addition, he has made a contribution of $4,000 to the COW Pre-K for books for the children. Along with recruiting officers, Mr. Sutton is also volunteering with the children. He enjoys the time he takes to purchase books and then read to the children. Mr. Sutton has helped one of the underserved neighborhoods in the Las Vegas area by making books available to children along with providing a positive outlook regarding law enforcement. During the past three years, Mr. Sutton has impacted more than 500 families. Now the community sees the children hugging the officers as opposed to being afraid of them. The experience the officers have had in the community is pleasant. Where they usually have negative outcomes due to 911 calls, they now have relationships with the children and the other neighbors.
It is not an easy job providing law enforcement to any metropolitan area. Many officers are ready for a rest after a hard days work. Mr. Sutton sees such a negative side of life while policing that he chose to make a difference one child and one community at a time. The children now are aware of what police officers are supposed to do and recognize them as public servants.
Mr. Sutton he is consistently working for social change for people in need. In 1998 he raised $18,000 for a family whose one-month old child was shot in the face during a drive by shooting. During 2000, he organized a benefit concert for an injured Nevada Highway Patrolman and raised an excess of $20,000. Mr. Sutton is continuing the Cops and Kids program while also working to compile stories from officers across the country into a book called “TRUE BLUE” with the proceeds going to the New York Police Widows and Orphans Fund.