ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC-TV) - A local New York State trooper who responded to the attacks on September 11, Hurricane Sandy, and countless other major events is doing even more to help local youth when he's not in uniform.
"My passion is always to help people in general, but I gravitate more to kids,” Jake Brinson said. “They say 'kids are our future' – but better yet, kids are our now, our today."
Brinson is a 29-year veteran of the New York State Police. He's seen firsthand how helping someone while they're young can change a child's future.
That's why he started coaching football for the Northwest Youth Association and the Rochester Christian Youth basketball team. He also spent extra time in schools for gang and drug resistance training.
"He made me what I am now,” said Chris Hogan, 14. “I work harder than I did before."
"He was the coach who works us the hardest and taught us the best,” said Thomas Hogan, 11. “And he was my best coach the whole time I've played."
"A lot of parents are not in the household, so I try to step in and be a father-figure to most of the guys and gals that I come into contact with," Brinson said.
And there are hundreds of kids that "Coach Jake" continues helping on and off the courts and the fields.
"He always pushes me whenever I see him to work hard in school and to work hard in JV football and have good grades," Chris said.
"My former pupils – they enjoy being around me, they enjoy the things that I've taught them through the years, and they're just happy that I was a part of their life,” said Brinson. “And it just makes me proud to know I've done some good in my life time, and I try to continue to do so."
Now Coach Jake is ready to change things a bit – and retire from the New York State Police.
"I've put some time into this place,” he said. “I guess it's time for me to walk away and let some of the younger guys take the lead, and hopefully their careers will be as successful and safe as mine."
Trooper Brinson will no longer be patrolling the streets in 2017. But, he says that will just give him more time to work with local youth.
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