Police Officer Connects to Heart of Detroit Youth in Mobile Gaming  

DETROIT – It was a childhood connection he built with an officer that compelled him to one day to aspire to join the police force. Officer Bryant George, 33, had built an everlasting relationship with Lieutenant Robert Johnson as a child, they are now colleagues who share a stronger bond on the Detroit Police Department.

Officer George played basketball as kid for the Detroit Police Athletic League and helped lead the boys’ basketball team to a championship in the 8th grade. He continued his athletic skills in high school at Rogers Academy in Detroit where he first met and played for Mr. Johnson who was his coach. As his coach and mentor, and the way he carried himself as an individual on the force and in the community, were the qualities Bryant enjoyed about Lt. Johnson and the reasoning behind his aspiration to publicly serve. “It’s because of him setting that model for me as a teenager, I knew I was going to one day become a Detroit Police officer.”

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That connection rings true and comes full circle again for Officer George where his service is making a difference when he’s on and off duty. Officer George is a five-year veteran and is assigned through the Chief’s Neighborhood Liaison Office at the Detroit Police Athletic League. He helps youth find their greatness while having a positive experience with a member of law enforcement.

“It was where I grew up,” George said. He describes growing up in the Joy Rd. and Livernois area of Detroit’s westside where he didn’t see a lot of positive male figures. “We didn’t have a lot of positive Black male role models. There was a lot of gang violence, gun violence, poverty. When you graduate from college and see your peers who didn’t have role models, or when you don’t have a blueprint of what will lead to a successful life …it forced me to want to make a difference in this area.”

 

 

George promised God that if he could help him make it get through college, he would return to Detroit to help create that blueprint for young men. He graduated from Madonna University and says he found it in his heart to help uplift youth and show them a road map to earn degrees and find careers to live productive lives.

But he didn’t wait to become an officer to contribute to the lives of young people. Before joining DPD, George worked at Madonna University as an Admissions Officer. He founded the Bridging Lost Gaps program to help increase the enrollment, retention and graduation rates of Black male students from Detroit and created a space for mentoring, and academic and mental support.

Fast forwarding outside of the college program, Officer George continues to bridge gaps. In June 2021, he graduated from ProsperUSDetroit, an entrepreneur training program. He later founded Game Mobile & More, LLC. It’s a mobile video game business which provides services for birthday parties, graduations and community partnerships.

“I receive such a positive response from young Black males because you have something that they enjoy. In that space, their minds, eyes and ears are wide open. Oftentimes, young people ask, ‘How did you get all of this? Is this something, I can do when I grow up? Can I work here?’”

George says the experience gives Black youth something positive they can look up to, conversations he can have with them on coding education and the business of e-gaming scholarships, as well as a different in-person connection with law enforcement.

“Youth participants through the Detroit PAL, learning that I’m a police officer and learning that you own a mobile game business, I literally became a super superhero to them.”

Officer George believes this space has created a different narrative for youth in Detroit. He argues the notion of youth being afraid of cops, not having anything in common with police, or not be in the same space and feel comfortable with authority, are all barriers that become eliminated – a gap closed.

It’s his 20-year connection to Lt. Johnson (and current colleague)that continues to inspire his journey to reach out and build a connection to the youth of Detroit, today.

 

 

 
 

 

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