BERKELEY, MO (KTVI) – Officer Robert Howard has been with the Berkeley Police Department for about three months. Last week, he pulled up to talk to a group of young men who admittedly had their guard up as soon as they saw his car; but it didn’t take long for the mood to change.
Officer Robert Howard has been with the Berkeley Police Department for about three months.
Ronaldo Butler was hanging outside his house with some friend when Howard pulled up.
"When he pulled up and introduced himself first and that was kind of a shocker and I was like maybe this is going in a good direction," Butler said .
After a few minute of talking butler liked what Howard was saying and pulled out his phone to record the conversation.
"By his third or second sentence I knew that he was actually for us and really wanted to help with the community," said Butler.
Howard grew up in the Walnut Park area of St. Louis. He said he wanted to talk to this group of guys to let them know he is here for them.
"I want them to know that law enforcement is there to protect and sever and there to be a friend as well when needed," said Howard.
Howard talked about how important mutual respect is between law enforcement and the citizen, and said one thing that really stood out to Butler.
"He said a grown man doesn't need another grown man to tell him what to do, that stood out to me, if you are in the wrong you clean up yourself and check yourself ," Butler said "You don`t have to worry about what is going on cops coming at you the wrong way and throwing you on the car as long as you have yourself together as a man you'll be okay."
Butler and Howard are both surprised at the attention the video has received and excited to see where it may go.
"I need the community to continue to push this message along to let everyone know be ease," Howard said. "Law enforcement is a family and we can very well be your family but you have to let us in."
"I've never met a cop that was so concerned about the community so that alone lets me know this is a great thing and we are headed in the right direction," said Butler.