"This was something that was basically from their hearts," Chief Jim Toles of the Lockland Police Department in Lockland, Ohio, told ABC News. "We’re trying to show respect to them [the kids]. We want them to respect us and we are trying to teach them the rights and the wrongs. We try to let them know that we are here to be their friends, not their enemies."
Toles said that Officers Drew Jones, Travis Moyers and Jeremy Ohl surprised the local kids with a new hoop on Feb. 5, after noticing they were playing with one that was missing a backboard.
"When they were playing, one or two of the kids would have to stand behind the rim and catch it," he said. "They put it together and set it down in that area next to the old one and put a note on it. The note said good luck."
Toles said Jones, Moyers and Ohl left the hoop outside as a surprise for the kids, ages 8 to 15, to find.
"I’m proud of them of course," Toles said. "The police departments in the nation are getting much ridicule and there are officer out there that care about what they do."