Los Angeles: Five Los Angeles Police Department officers and a group of 10- to 15-year-old kids from a Watts housing project are headed to Cleveland, OH, to meet and have dinner with NBA player Lebron James and his teammates.
Captain Phillip Tingirides, Sergeant James Linder, Detective Donna Wheeler and Police Officers Keith Linton and Maribel Plascencia are involved in a South Los Angeles mentoring program called Project Dream. The program’s purpose is to give inner-city kids a chance to interact with the police in a positive way and stay out of trouble. It also strives to inspire productivity and the achievement of educational goals…objectives officers believe are the building blocks of safer communities.
Officers Linton and Plascencia can relate to the enormous obstacles these children face on a daily basis, having been raised in poverty in similar environments yet overcoming their challenges through determination and perseverance. And now, as living examples of life’s possibilities, they’re helping kids by sharing their experience and inspiration.
On April 9, 2010, all four LAPD personnel and 10 children from the Watts area are scheduled to travel to Cleveland with officers to meet All Star basketball players, watch an NBA basketball game, visit several places and meet with the mayor of Cleveland.
Opportunities for media coverage:
6 p.m. media opportunity to interview officers at Southeast Division
7 p.m. media availability to interview kids at Southeast Division
8 p.m. kids depart in limo from Southeast Station
A five minute video footage of Watts 180 is available below.
For more information, calls may be directed to the LAPD Media Relations Section at 213-486-5910.