St. Pete police shoot hoops with kids on Fridays

- Just about any Friday night, the Thomas 'Jet' Jackson Recreation Center in St. Petersburg is packed with kids playing basketball.

They call this Midnight Madness. The program is held every Friday night from 8 p.m. until midnight for kids 13 to 18 by the Police Athletic League.

"I just wanted to come up with something for the kids to do on a Friday night. It's just one of those nights that maybe they've got nothing else going on", said Officer David Lopez of St. Petersburg Police.

The goal is to keep kids out of trouble.

"All of our crimes happen at night. Kids are walking around roaming the streets", said Officer Camren Hudson.

The participation is growing since it started over a year ago.

"The first time that I did it I had 11 kids show up and 12 turned into 15 turned into 20 turned into 30 and now we pretty much average about 50 or 60 kids", said Officer Lopez.

The program is free, but kids have to register.

For more information, contact Officer David Lopez at 727-269-2781.

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