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Columbia County deputies play ball with child

Courtesy: Kyle Green
Courtesy: Kyle Green

COLUMBIA COUNTY, Fla. – Two deputies in Columbia County are being praised for making a positive impact on a child.

Deputy Chad Kirby and Sergeant Ali Perbtani were on Tim Street near Old Country Club Road in Lake City, when they decided to pick up a game with the child.

Neighbor Kyle Green shot video of their match. He said the area has seen its share of crime and it was nice to see deputies in the area making a positive impact.

This is just the latest local story about law enforcement playing ball with children.

Gainesville Officer Bobby White made national headlines in January when he responded to a report of children playing too loudly in the street. Instead of reprimanding them, he joined in.

The video from his dashcam went viral and White became known as "Basketball Cop."

Shaquille O'Neal heard about the story and traveled to Gainesville to surprise the kids and play ball with them. That video also went viral.

"We (cops) have been fighting an uphill battle against a negative perception of those who wear the uniform," said Gainesville Police Department spokesman Ben Tobias. "I have never been more proud to wear my badge and showcase what cops do. It is my sincere hope that this amazing few days in little ole Gainesville, Florida, will begin a massive nationwide shift in the public's perception of America's law enforcement."