Wisconsin cops responding to a neighbor’s complaint about kids playing hockey in the street decided not to bust up the match.
Instead, they grabbed sticks and joined the game.
For 30 minutes, officers from the Janesville Police Department played with the three delighted boys, and complimented them on their sports skills and taking time to talk with them about their neighborhood.
"I saw the officers come down the street and I thought we were going to be in trouble, said mom Hailley Jester, whose two sons Skylar, 12, and Orion, 11, were part of the makeshift team.
The officers blocked off the street with their patrol cars so they could play with the boys, she said.
“They wanted to show the kids that they like what they are doing — playing outside and doing kids’ stuff — but they told them now they have to go across the street in a big parking lot area," Jester said.
"They didn't want to be heavy-handed," police chief David Moore told InsideEdition.com Thursday. "So the sergeant grabbed a handful of hockey sticks at the station and went out there.
The sticks were left over from a benefit match between the cops and the fire department, he said.
"We could have been very abrupt and just ordered them out of the street," he said. "But that wouldn't have built trust with the community. We are constantly looking for ways to build trust."
So the officers scouted the area with the boys, looking for a place where they could play undisturbed without hindering traffic.
"They thought they’d make a better impression if they played with them for a while instead of yelling at them," the mother said.
Her sons were "super excited," by the officers’ attention, she said, adding, "It shows cops aren’t bad people. It’s like the cops are closer with the community.”