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Operation NETS gives kids in community new hoop

Posted: 5:48 PM, Aug 06, 2018
Updated: 2018-08-07 12:54:01Z

A few kids near 31st and Parker got a huge surprise Monday.

Omaha police, firefighters, Douglas County sheriff's deputies, and Coalition RX delivered a new basketball hoop.

"When we saw in late spring, early summer they needed a replacement, we replaced the net and threw the kids a ball," said Ken Kanger.

It's not just giving kids better sports equipment to play on, it's helping law enforcement build relationships in the community.

"We want the youth to be able to see us and interact with us, come up to us, talk to us, approach us in our vehicles, ask us questions," said Wayne Hudson.

The Omaha Fire Department is also in on it.

"We are not only here in their time of need, we are here to help them out whenever they need it, as well," said Scott Fitzpatrick.

To let area youth know they can trust their first responders.

"Youth engagement is important, the relationships that we have with the kids in our community are important,"said Kanger.

"They have to know that we are here for them and doing everything in our power to make sure they are successful," said Kanger.

Jaden Mays says he's thankful for this new hoop.

"Sometimes when I don't want to play on that one I can play on this one," said Mays.

He says he admires his local first responders.

"Because they give us stuff that we needed," said Mays.

It's all donation based, the community can donate sports equipment at all Omaha police precincts and a few fire stations.

As well as the Douglas County Sheriff's Office. 

"We are going to have some drop off sites for the public to drop off balls and nets at the station," said Fitzpatrick.