Police in Asheville are receiving praise for how they responded to a noise complaint over the weekend.
The two officers were called to a neighborhood on Sunday. But when they arrived, they found the kids enjoying a slip ‘n slide for a Fourth of July block party.
“The officers got there and people were like, ‘Oh my gosh, the cops are here. They’re going to shut us down,’ but they noticed the noise was fine,” Asheville police spokeswoman Christina Hallingse told ABC News. “It was literally the sound of kids playing.”
Hallingse told the Observer that the slide was positioned in a way that cars and emergency vehicles could still pass through the street. So instead of shutting down the fun, the cops decided to join the kids.
Videos of the officers gliding down the slide were posted on Facebook, and have gained attention from national media the past couple of days.
“When it’s hot...and your (sic) responding to a street complaint...and there’s a fun way to cool down...you take advantage of a giant slip and slide,” the police department wrote on its Facebook page.
The videos, which have been viewed more than 200,000 times, prompted praise from Facebook users who were happy to see the cops interacting with the kids.
“Who would complain about these families having some fun!” one person commented.
Others complimented the cops for their approach, noting it was a nice gesture in a time where police departments are under heightened scrutiny.
“I like seeing this. These guys did exactly what they should have,” another person said. “I think the biggest issue cops have is they don't get to walk the neighborhoods and let the folks get to know them.”
Hallingse said the department is pleased with the response the videos have received. She told the Observer community engagement is a priority for their officers.
“So that people can learn to see them as people, not just officers,” she said. “The more that they can get out and establish these relationships, the better we can police.”
LaVendrick Smith; 704-358-5101; @LaVendrickS