New Jersey police detective hosts pool party for city kids

HAMILTON TWP., N.J. -- Dozens of children from Trenton were treated like VIPs this weekend.

They were the invited guests for a pool party at the home of Trenton police detective Randall Hanson.

Video of the party has been viewed more than 11,000 times on social media.

"We swam, he did balloons, food and a barbecue," said Anita Tory of Trenton.

"Had an amazing time. Lots of food, drinks, the kids had so much fun," said Shakira Cotman of Trenton.

With almost 20 years on the force, the veteran narcotics detective is now the Trenton Police Department's records administrator.

Why invite dozens of people to his house? Hanson says he understands where these kids are coming from - he was adopted, never knew his birth parents and grew up poor.

"I wore smelly clothes, I stood in the free lunch line," said Hanson.

Hanson says some of the few people who took an interest in him were local police officers.

"They bought my spikes for baseball, they ran, they took me back and forth to soccer practice," said Hanson. "So I thought this behavior, this love they showed me was something police officers did."

And so he's continued that through his bikes for babies program, helping poor families at Christmas and this pool party. Hanson's three children and his wife, Melissa, pitch in.

"I see where they are coming from, I see what they have and what they don't have, so it's nice to be able to give back," said Melissa Hanson.

Detective Hanson and his wife have been hosting the pool party for three years now. They don't do it for attention or anything else other than a way to reach out.

"He treated us like he was family," said Akira Davis of Trenton. "It means that he cares about us and he got feelings."

"He makes me feel pretty good about myself and about other people too," said Kahsier Conover of Trenton.

"You can extend your hand and open your heart, and when you do, great things can happen," said Hanson.

Hanson hopes his efforts will inspired other kids the way he was inspired by people who cared about him.
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