Asheville police officer buys kid a new bike

After taking a report of a stolen bicycle and not finding the bike, Officer Maxwell Pryer decided to use his own money to buy a new one for a kid. (Photo credit: WLOS staff)

Three weeks on the job and Officer Maxwell Pryer is already making a splash in the department.

After taking a report of a stolen bicycle and not finding the bike, he decided to use his own money to buy a new one for a kid.

“It was that mother's quote, the fact that she said all this kid likes to do from morning until night is ride his bicycle, that resonated in me and I thought, child needs a bike,” Pryer said.

He said he has a love for fostering relationships, one of the reasons he wanted to become a police officer.

“Before this, I was in the Army and one of my jobs was fostering relationships with the Afghan locals. And I had success doing that, and part of the reason I wanted to become a cop was to help take some of those lessons I learned overseas and apply them here in the states, because nothing's more important than a strong relationship between the community and the police,” he said.

The other reason was to follow in the footsteps of his dad, who was a police officer in Fayetteville.

This act of kindness isn’t the only one in the police department’s recent history, from water sliding with kids in the summer to buying Christmas presents in the winter.

“First and foremost for police officers, it's protecting and serving, but secondly, and just as important, we've got to build positive relationships between the communities we police and the police force, and I certainly loved being given the opportunity to do that in a different way,” Pryer said.

Asheville–Buncombe Technical Community College law enforcement training coordinator Jeff Augram said the state mandates 48 of the more than 600 hours required for students to focus on community engagement.

“You teach it through the emphasis with community involvement, through the emphasis through crime prevention and you find the proper instructors that have a passion for those discipline,” Augram said.

He said, along the way, future officers will make mistakes, but they must learn from them.

He also said teachers must adjust the training accordingly so everyone is prepared for a changing environment.

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