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CAUGHT ON CAM: Police officer shoots hoops with kids, helping bridge gap in the community

The Pascagoula officer’s body cam was turned on, capturing all of the laughs and three-pointers.
Published: Jan. 6, 2022 at 11:16 PM CST
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PASCAGOULA, Miss. (WLOX) - It’s a video that’s getting a lot of buzz on social media. The basketball court was a location of a shooting back in November but, this time, it’s because of an officer doing his part to interact in the community.

“I never expected a pickup basketball game, with my body camera just activating, would gain this much attention,” said Pascagoula Police Officer J.J. Perez.

Officer Perez was caught hooping with kids at MCC Park in Pascagoula. It’s something 10-year-old Korbyn Chambers couldn’t believe at first.

“He walked up and asked, ‘Do y ’all want to play ball?’” said Chambers. “We said yeah and then we got to playing basketball. He shot a three on somebody, and I shot a three on somebody.”

🏀Because sometimes you just have to stop and enjoy a game of basketball with our younger citizens! Officer Perez and...

Posted by Pascagoula Police Department on Wednesday, January 5, 2022

It wasn’t Perez’s first time playing basketball in the community. He didn’t even know the action was being filmed. His bodycam picked up his movements and automatically started recording.

“Me and JJ and my cousin Bud were on the same team,” said Chambers. “I was amazed. I didn’t know that he could play basketball.”

“When I’m driving through the neighborhood and I see kids playing, I get out there and play with them,” Perez said.

At the same basketball court, a few weeks back, a 26-year-old man was shot and had to be rushed to the hospital. Officer Perez said interacting with the community not only deters that type activity, it also helps bridge the gap between the community and law enforcement.

“We’re not out here just to give them a hard time,” he said. “We’re out here to have a good time with them and I think that video shows it.”

As the number of views increase, so does the morale in the community.

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