Cop Sponsors Gym Membership For Teen In Need

A rise in police violence has left many doubting today’s justice system. Still, some cops — such as the handful from El Segundo who helped replace a teen’s stolen money — are demonstrating kindness. For a Chicago teen, sneaking into XSport Fitness was routine, as he could no longer pay for a membership. When staff phoned the feds, officer Mario Valenti offered to pay for the 15-year-old’s membership, granted he would stay out of trouble.

“After 23 years in this job, you size up people pretty quickly. And I could tell he was a gentle type of kid,” [said] Valenti.

Moved by Valenti’s gesture, the club offered to shoulder the remaining funds for a two-year membership. Teen Vincent Gonzales, an aspiring point guard, expressed his gratitude through a text and on national television. Similarly, Valenti’s good deed lifted a burden off his own shoulders.

“You get satisfaction out of helping people, especially because our job is so negative,” Valenti said.

Good cop, bad cop? In Valenti’s case, just cop, as his actions should be standard for anyone in law enforcement.

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