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Parents police Wisconsin shopping center


A shopping center in a tough neighborhood of Madison, Wisconsin, pays a troop of three parents to keep kids away from stores and cops away from kids.

Wearing yellow T-shirts imprinted with “P.O.P,” for Parents on Premises, the local adults interact with teens hanging out at the Meadowood Shopping Center, intervening with those fighting or caught shoplifting on behalf of the center’s owners.

One P.O.P. member told WISC TV news that kids were stealing up to $300 a week in merchandise before the initiative began.

The parents build relationships with the kids and give them positive examples instead of turning them over to police.

“They are just minds without having avenues to go down and what we do is give them avenues to let them know there are other ways to go to become successful,” P.O.P. unit member James Edison said.

Lashon Tucker, a manager at Anchor Bank in the center, said the 15 to 20 kids usually loitering there are dispersed and customers feel more comfortable coming in.

“I don't have customers saying, 'How could you work over there? It's so bad there. I'm scared to come over there.' I don't get that anymore,” Tucker said.

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