Springdale Police Officer Doubles As Youth Mentor

SPRINGDALE (KFSM) -- A Northwest Arkansas school resource officer is going above and beyond the call of duty to give boys in school a positive role model.

“You definitely show pride in these kids when you see that they've improved in their grades and their attitude," Philip Group, Sonora Middle School resource officer said.

Some Springdale seventh graders are getting support on their road to success.

Group and the assistant principal noticed some students were having discipline and maturity issues, so they created a mentoring program called 'Man Up'.

“Some members, you know may not have a male role model at home or in their everyday life so we try to step up and be that mentor to them and kind of lead them on the right path at they grow older,” he said.

Corporal Group said he thought 'Man Up' would break down the barrier between kids and police.

“You know you don't see them in the office all the time and if you do it's for a good reason. You know, they are just coming to say hi, they're not in trouble and it gives me a sense of pride that you know maybe I helped and I did some of that,” he said.

Jordan Garner said the 'Man Up' program means a lot to him.

“The most important thing that I've learned because of the group was how to respect other people and patience and what to do whenever you help other people and how to help other people,” Garner said.

This is the second year of the 'Man Up' program. Corporal Group said he's looking forward to working with the next class of students this fall.

The group is completely voluntary. The students have to sign a contract with Corporal Group that says they will abide by the rules of the school, keep grades at 2.5 and participate in community service.