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7 police departments in St. Louis area team up with Big Brothers Big Sisters to provide mentors

7 police departments in St. Louis area team up with Big Brothers Big Sisters to provide mentors

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Cops 4 Kids and Big Brothers Big Sisters

St. Louis Police officer Don Re (left) and Det. Nate McCraw help DeMarrio Fields, 7, of St. Louis, write a card for his mother during the 5th annual Cops 4 Kids event on Saturday, Dec. 13, 2014, at Target in St. Louis. Forty police officers and detectives teamed up with 20 children from Big Brothers Big Sisters for a $150 shopping spree to spend on gifts for their family and themselves. The event was intended to give back to the area and build better community relations, according to police Sgt. Matthew Simpson, who started the program. Photo by Huy Mach, hmach@post-dispatch.com

ST. LOUIS • Seven area police departments have teamed with the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Eastern Missouri to provide mentors to children in the region.

The organization launched its "Bigs In Blue" partnership with the St. Louis Police Department in 2012. The partnership announced Wednesday will expand the program in that department and adds St. Louis County, Ferguson, Florissant, Maryland Heights, Normandy and St. Louis Community College police.

Big Brothers Big Sisters says program aims to connect St. Louis youths with men and women in law enforcement "to build strong, trusting and enduring relationships between law enforcement, youth, families, and the communities they serve."

Former St. Louis Police Chief Dan Isom was named chairman of the Bigs In Blue program. He and his wife are active in Big Brothers Big Sisters and have a 9-year-old "little brother." Isom and Kelvin Adams, superintendent of St. Louis Public Schools, created the Bigs in Blue program in 2012.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Eastern Missouri hopes to expand the program to every police department in St. Charles, Jefferson and St. Louis counties, and in the Cape Girardeau area.

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Denise Hollinshed is a reporter for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch

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