Everyday Hero: Sheriff’s deputy spends quality time with youth

By Bill Murphy, Everyday Hero Host
Last Updated: Monday, July 03, 2017, 5:46 AM EDT

Pinellas County Sheriff’s Deputy Lydia Lang-Royal has built a bond with the kids at the Rainbow Village Head Start Center in Largo. It’s part of Lutheran Services Florida.

“Pete the cat was walking down the street in his brand new white shoes. Pete loved his white shoes,” Lang-Royal reads to the kids. 

  • Pinellas Sheriff's Deputy Lydia Lang-Royal named 'Everyday Hero'
  • Lang-Royal spends quailty time with kids as part of Lutheran Services 
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Lutheran Services mission is to enhance the development of very young children, from birth to age five, and to promote healthy family functioning.

Deputy Lang-Royal has been a community service officer at the center for the past three years.  

When she started, the kids were a bit stand-offish. They were not sure about this person wearing a badge.

"I had to come in and say it's OK. Some high fives. Some hugs," Deputy Lang-Royal said.

It didn't take long before she had their trust and their love.

"She came into their lives and changed the whole image of what law enforcement is really all about," Deborah Rutledge said.

Rutledge is a family and community engagement specialist. She says Lang-Royal is someone who goes well beyond the call of duty to help kids and their families.

"She does it from her heart. That's who she is," Rutledge said.

In total, Lang-Royal has been involved with youth services for the past eleven years, starting with the Drug Abuse Resistance Education or D.A.R.E. program.

"I was assigned to elementary school and I would do high fives and hugs, read and safety and the law with all the kids grades K - five," Deputy Lang-Royal said. "That program went away but it’s still part of my training; still in my heart. So I still love reading and working with the little ones."