Philadelphia police, Penn Medicine partner to give kids new bikes

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- David Trotman has been dreaming of owning his own bike for a long time.

"It's very cool. Like this bike is the one bike that really fits me," said 10-year-old Trotman, who was on the school honor roll all year, and feels like he earned a new set of wheels.

"My big plans for the summer is to ride it on the beach and also ride it all around," he said.

The only person more excited than him may just be the one who gave him his new ride.

"My phone conversations at work are depressing. When I was calling families and saying I have a bike for your child, I think I was as excited as they were," said Sunny Jackson, the injury prevention coordinator at Penn Medicine's trauma center.

Because of Jackson, about 90 kids in West Philadelphia now have a bike to call their own. She spent the last six months putting a bike drive together. The culmination of her work was at an event on Saturday.

Once Jackson had the idea, it took the entire community coming together to pull it off. A bike shop fixed up all the donated bikes. Police helped to identify the kids most in need in the neighborhood and then even provided riding lessons.

"If kids have something to do and they're able to have a good time and they're able to feel safe and play outside, it makes a huge difference," said Officer Jen Decky, the crime prevention officer for Philadelphia police's 16th district.

Accessibility for kids is something Officer Decky and Jackson have discussed before. Police in the 16th district work closely with Penn's trauma center, and the two have brainstorming ideas to fight the gun violence epidemic plaguing the community.

"Communities with better resources have less gun violence so you may or may not think of a bicycle as a resource. But for a child who does not have them, it certainly is," said Jackson.

For 10-year-old Trotman, it's his ticket to a safe summer.
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