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Police Officers to Serve as Boy Scout Leaders

Starting this week, Monterey Park Police Chief Dan Cross and seven police officers will leave work for an hour each week and slip out of their uniforms and into Boy Scout T-shirts and neckerchiefs.

During that time, the officers will be doubling as Boy Scout leaders for about 180 second- and third-graders at Repetto Elementary School. Four classes will be assigned a group number--similar to a troop number--and they will be taught traditional scouting skills in the classroom.

The Boy Scouts run in-school scouting programs nationwide, but officials said that this is the first time that police officers are acting as leaders. City Councilwoman Judy Chu suggested the idea after scout officials told her they did not have enough money to send trained scout leaders to Repetto.

Boy Scout officials say children in communities with large immigrant populations, such as Monterey Park, are not familiar with the scouting program. They hope the program will eventually boost enrollment in traditional troops.

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