BONNER SPRINGS, Kan. -- A high school student and police officer from Bonner Springs are headed to the White House. They were chosen among seven other pairs as part of the Champions of Change program.
Towering above the students, Officer Anthony Davis is hard to miss. At the high school, he’s often seen as a teacher, friend, and protector.
“Once they get to know me, they realize not all officers are bad,” he explained.
Officer Davis built that reputation while mentoring senior Blake McMahan. Together their efforts to bridge the gap between teens and law enforcement have gained national attention. They were invited to the White House as part of the Champions of Change program.
“I’m excited. It’s an awesome gig,” McMahan said.
Over the summer, the senior completed 160 hours of volunteer work at the police department. He grew up around the uniform.
“First grade with Chief Zoretski, he turned on his lights and all that. He took me home one day in his patrol car and he’s always been there,” he said.
Since then he’s been proactive about law enforcement started a Criminal Justice Club and scholarship. Davis is on hand as an advisor.
“He goes out of the way to talk to students, help them in classes, help them in law enforcement classes,” said McMahan.
Like McMahan, it only took Davis one good interaction with a cop to turn his view around. It happened when he was 19 years old.
“The only thing special was he got out of the patrol car and wanted to shoot some hoops in the street,” said Davis. His encounter with the officer pushed Davis to pursue a career in law enforcement.
McMahan says after college, he hopes to serve in the Bonner Springs Police Department and then go on to become a U.S. Marshal.
The pair will head to the White House next Monday.