SHREVEPORT, La (KMSS/KTAL) – Last Thursday one of the NFL’s brightest defensive stars, Devin White of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, helped out kids in Shreveport by buying each kid school and athletic gear for this upcoming year.

The Springhill, Louisiana native wasn’t alone though. Officers from the Shreveport Police Department were right by his side.

Those officers know the impact an act of kindness like this can have, and they’re grateful.

“The Shreveport Police department is so thankful for Devin for doing this because it helps us to build a more positive relationship in the community,” said SPD Captain Colette Kelly, the Commander of the Community Oriented Policing Bureau. “So now they got a positive role model that they can look up to that they say, ‘Hey, it’s generally people that care about us.”

The officers helped the kids shop and shared how several SPD officers coach youth sports themselves.

They do so because they remember the impact coaches had on them.

“Working in the neighborhoods and seeing these kids grow and progress, like I said, being a coach myself and stuff, I coached at Fairpark, a lot of them have success and they still remember what you contributed as a coach,” said Shreveport Police Sergeant Anthony Kelly. “And sometimes as that makeshift parent when they are away from home. And the kids are ecstatic about the number of officers that are here, and shocked that some of the officers were actually coaches.”

Corporal Joshua Isaac echoed Sergeant Kelly’s sentiments.

“Playing sports it teaches you teamwork. It gives you so much. It gives you the will to fight, not to give up. It molds you to become a great young man or a great young woman,” he said. “And especially for the kids that didn’t have a father in the house. Your coach was like a father to a lot of kids.”

Captain Kelly said she hopes Devin White’s act of kindness motivates other professional athletes from our area to contribute in the same way.