Newport News Police officers take action to raise students’ grades and trust

Posted at 7:49 PM, Apr 22, 2015
and last updated 2015-04-22 19:49:09-04

Newport News, Va.- Newport News police officers are taking action to help get Sedgefield Elementary School its accreditation back after it was stripped last October.

Now about 20 officers from Newport News' Central Precinct are swarming Sedgefield's hallways to mentor, tutor and read to the children, taking action to make sure the students get good results on their SOL tests next month.

The goal though is not just about keeping their grades up, it's about keeping the students' trust.

"Unfortunately, a lot of children are taught not to trust the police," said Community Resource Officer John Parker. "They then become adults and they aren't going to trust police, therefore they are not going to communicate with us."

Which is exactly what Newport News police dealt with earlier this month after 13-year-old Jada Richardson and 17 year-old Domingo Davis were murdered at a party. Police believe it was gang related and no one came forward with information.

Officer Nick Komljenovich, who tutors students every week,  hopes with every handshake and conversation in the cafeteria, he can change that.

"My son is 26-years-old, he's grown up and hopefully making the right decision all on his own," Komljenovich said. "If I can do that to another kid, then I won't have to worry about standing over his body because he's been shot in a bad area of town."