DeLand PD participating in Big Brothers Big Sisters program

(DeLand, FL) - The DeLand Police Department is partnering with the West Volusia Boys and Girls Club and the House Next Door to provide officers who will serve as mentors to children in need.

The program, called Bigs in Blue and managed by Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Florida, will allow officers to meet with their matched child at their respective schools or area neighborhoods one hour a week while on duty. So far, Police Chief Jason Umberger and DeLand High School Resource Officer Brian Bice have been matched with Little brothers while Officers Rod Hancock and David Erndl are waiting to be matched with a child.

For more than 100 years, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Florida has been providing one-on-one mentoring services for children facing adversity. In the last year, 95 percent of participants maintained or improved their attendance at school; 95 percent had no behavior referrals or suspensions and 96 percent were promoted to the next grade level.

"Bigs in Blue is a unique opportunity for police officers to make a difference in the life of a young person who needs a positive role model and mentor," said Chief Umberger. "I've seen firsthand the impact a "Big" can have in the life of a "Little" brother or sister. I wholeheartedly support Big Brothers Big Sisters and the Bigs in Blue program."

If you wish to participate in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program, you may sign up today at www.bbbsnefl.org or call 904-727-9797.