WSVN — Violent run-ins with police have tensions higher than ever in this country. One local police officer is trying to change that. 7’s Lynn Martinez has more on this good cop reaching a "Field Goal."

Ferguson, New York, Baltimore, and here in South Florida. Clashes with police being played out on social media, causing tensions to rise.

Officer Daniel Mocombe knows what it’s like to be on the other side of the shield. The Miami Police officer says, when he was little, his first encounter with police wasn’t a good one. 

Miami Police Officer Daniel Mocombe: "We were stopped by an officer, and he said we stole the bike." 

He and his brother told the officer the bike belonged to them, but he didn’t believe them.

Officer Daniel Mocombe: "So he made us feel real bad."

But despite that bad experience, Daniel grew up and became a police officer himself, a job he says is getting more difficult every day.

Officer Daniel Mocombe: "Just putting on a uniform and come to work, you know, everybody associates you with what happened or what’s taking place in other places."

But he wants to change that perception, especially with young people like Anton.

Officer Mocombe carries a football in his patrol car. He hopes tossing around the ball will turn around how these kids feel about police. 

Anton: "Growing up, I never liked cops. They like to harass people for no reason. I’ve seen my uncle get harassed. I’ve even seen a friend get shot by a cop."

Anton says his time with Officer Mocombe is changing the way he feels about the police.

Anton: "Yeah, he’s a good person. He does the things my older brother doesn’t do."

Officer Daniel Mocombe: "Getting him back in school, he wants to go off to college."

Officer Mocombe is hoping to keep kids out of trouble.

Officer Daniel Mocombe: "When they see you out here and you get out of the car and you talk to them, the chances of that child committing a crime, it’s like uh, oh the officer has already seen my face."

But his outreach doesn’t stop with the kids. This large public housing project is where most of the kids live, and most of the families here live in poverty.

Officer Daniel Mocombe: "I’m dropping some clothes off, some school clothes off, to one of the families. Over here has a stigma of being bad, but it’s not what people portray it to be. There’s a lot of good people here, a lot of good people." 

Miami’s police chief says Officer Mocombe is making a big difference in his community.

Miami Police Chief Rodolfo Llanes: "People feel comfortable speaking to him because he’s not just a uniform, he’s a person."

And this person behind the badge loves what he does, and loves how it is changing lives, one toss at a time.

Officer Daniel Mocombe: "Just to see the transitions in their life, and see how I can positively impact their life, I look forward to that. I’m excited." 

Officer Mocombe has also started a reading program for kids in the community. In the Plex, Lynn Martinez, 7News. 


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