GLENDALE, Ariz. - A single mother, worried about the way her son had been acting at home and in school, reached out for help from an unexpected source and got more than she expected.
With his mind on basketball, 11-year-old Clete Robinson was not focused on other important things. He admits it.
"I wasn't listening to my mom. I wasn't doing good. I wasn't listening to teachers. I was just doing my own thing. I felt like I could do all this.. I didn't need any help," he said.
Chantel Currie said she knows as a 28-year-old single mother of three, she might not have all the support to get her son back on the right track.
"So I decided, let me call someone who has more experience that's dealt with this kind of thing.. someone who kind of shake him up and scare him a little bit. So I called the Glendale Police Department."
Currie says she knew the minute she met Officer Joe Procopio that he would have a positive impact on her son and he has.
"Because he told me if you don't start listening to your mom, we can put you in these handcuffs and we'll take you to jail.. see how tough you are there," said Clete.
The change was almost immediate. It's been six weeks and Clete is back on track at home and at school. Officer Procopio drops in weekly to check on him. Procopio surprise Clete last week with a reward: a basketball to replace his old one, more importantly, a role model and a friend.
One a scale of 1 to 10, how happy is he? Clete says, "20."
"It was no longer about I'm an officer and this is my job.. the way he made me feel was this is a child and this child needs some support and you're doing your part.. what can I do to help you? I've never experienced that, not from a police officer, not even from some family and friends. He was genuine and he cares," said Chantel.
There were many aspects of why this relationship worked so well. One is the accountability. The officer talked to Clete, but when he said I'm coming back next week to check on you, Chantel said that made the difference. Knowing someone was coming back to make sure he was on track was important.
Officer Procopio will be going to see some of Clete's games in January when basketball season starts at his school.