AUBREY, Texas (CBS11) – An Aubrey mom caught a police officer on video doing something entirely unexpected after he told some kids hello on his car’s public address system.
“He was saying hi to them and stuff and then he left and came back and got out of the car,” said Misty McNabb who posted the video on her Facebook page.
“I started talking to them and they were going down the slide,” said Officer Ryan McLearen. “And I said, ‘How about me? You think I’d fit down there?’ And they were like, ‘no’.”
McLearen towered over the kids as he lumbered onto the playground equipment wearing his uniform and utility belt and wedged himself onto the slide.
The children began laughing excitedly.
“I try to go down the first time and my pistol got caught on it,” McLearen laughed. “And one of the kids said, ‘Your gun is stuck!’ So I fix that and I was finally able to get down the slide. And it was like, ‘Yeah! All right! I did it!'”
The video shows the officer at the bottom of the slide raising his arms triumphantly as the kids laugh and scream.
Officer McLearen said he learned as a school resource officer the real challenge isn’t getting his six-and-a-half foot body down a slide, it’s communicating to the children.
“My goofy side just kind of came out one day. And I was like, well they kind of show that they like that. So I kind of stuck with it. I mean, if I need to be police I can be police. But I prefer it be like this.”
When McLearen pulled up to the park for his interview with CBS11 in a marked police unit, nearly a dozen children flocked to his car leaving the playground deserted.
McLearen prefers the kids running to greet police officers instead of running away.
“I think it’s really good for them because they see that they can interact with them in the regular people,” McNabb said. “And they’re not scary like some people make it out to be. And it makes them feel safe.”
McClearen said his department not only condones his behavior, it encourages it as part of department efforts to interact with citizens.
“Unfortunately, we live in a world where it’s pretty common place that the police are out to get them,” McLearen said. “You know, if you can change one kids mine you’ve done a lot. In my mind they’re going to take away a lot of good stuff from this.”