Robert Kelsey Jr. issued a challenge to his followers when he posted a video on Facebook of Atlantic City Police officer Jesse Oliver-Logan playing football with neighborhood kids Sunday afternoon.
“I'm pretty sure if this was a negative video with the police it will go viral,” he wrote. “So let's see if we can make [this] positive video do numbers!”
Sure enough, his video did just that, gaining around 65,000 views and over 2,000 shares by Monday night. Oliver-Logan, who was only recently hired as a full-time patrolman, told NBC10 he wasn’t doing it to gain attention. He was merely having fun with some of the kids in the area.
“I didn’t have any calls to go to so I went out there and had a catch with them,” he said.
Unbeknownst to him, Kelsey saw the interaction and decided to record it.
“Atlantic City’s finest out here with the youth, man,” Kelsey says in the video. “I don’t even see grownups doing this with their kids.”
Oliver-Logan says he’s shocked by how quickly the video spread.
“That was a surprise,” he said. “I had no idea it was going to blow up like this. Go viral.”
The pickup football game occurred in an area of Atlantic City that isn’t known for particularly positive interactions between the community and the police.
“It was great,” said Atlantic City resident Monique Brown. “I think it was lovely. The kids had fun. Usually these kids run away from the cops but they actually played with them."
Atlantic City Police Sergeant Monica McMenamin thanked Kelsey for sharing the positive clip.
“We thank the gentleman who took the video to recognize that officers do a lot of positive things,” she said.
Oliver-Logan told NBC10 his father, a retired Atlantic City police officer, was community-minded during his career as well.
“He always told me to communicate with people and reach out,” Oliver-Logan said.
The officer also told NBC10 that positive interactions between police and the neighborhood are common; they’re just not often caught on video.
“I want to show them that we’re not monsters,” Oliver-Logan said. “We can be liked and you can come talk to us whenever.”