Roanoke officer named Community Impact Hero for youth basketball league success

Roanoke City leaders said the summer program helped to connect the police with youth, in a positive way.

ROANOKE (WSLS 10) – This year’s Red Cross Community Impact Hero is also a uniformed Roanoke officer, but when you learn about what he’s done in our community, you’ll know why he’s being hailed a hero.

Officer Joshua Johnson is the Community Resource Officer in Northwest Roanoke.

He says his captain tasked his unit with finding ways to engage youth.

After a lot of planning the Lea Youth Outdoor Basketball League kicked off in June 2015 and was wildly successful.

“We had one day it rained and there’s probably 20 kids sitting out there, looked like they’re about to cry. They were very, very upset this was not going to happen and it clicked, like, this is important to a lot of kids,” Johnson explained.

The foundation is set and the plan is to expand the summer basketball league to other neighborhoods. Statistics showed crime in Northwest dropped by 15 percent on the nights games were played.

The annual Celebration of Heroes breakfast is set for Tuesday, March 29 at The Hotel Roanoke and Conference Center from 7:30 to 9 a.m.

If you would like to attend tickets are $30 each.

For more information click here.

Dozens of kids played in this year's summer league.

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