Kid "cop" helps Newport police officer direct traffic
Every afternoon, at the same time, on the same corner, drivers look to Officer Vinson for some direction. But across the street, someone's looking to him for even more.
"The police officer gets kids back home safely," explained four-year-old Sawyer Schimming.
Every day, at the same time, on the same corner, Sawyer watches Officer Vinson, copying his every move.
"Every day, he's dressed from top to bottom," said Officer Justin Vinson.
"I have to blow the whistle at the cars," explained Sawyer.
For Sawyer, the man with the badge is his hero. But for Officer Vinson, they're more like partners.
"He will go out and stand there right on the corner, motion them on through," said Vinson. "He will sit there and tell them, 'That way, that way,' he'll blow his little whistle. I mean, it's just the greatest thing ever."
The commitment they share to keeping their neighborhood safe has grown into a friendship. Sawyer has even told Officer Vinson to call him on his radio if he "needs help putting some bad guys away."
The pair has gained notice by the people who drive past them while they work.
"They're great together," said Tracy Pack. "It's almost like a father and son thing. Kids interacting with local law enforcement, it's great."
The two have grown close because maybe the biggest part of protecting the neighborhood is protecting the dreams that grow bigger every day, at the same time, on the same corner.