Bronx cop teaches karate to children

Bronx cop teaches karate to children

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By day, NYPD Sgt. Jose Guerrero, 47, chases bad guys in the Bronx.

"I mean I make a living as a police officer," Guerrero says. "I love it. It feeds my family,"

When he is not, Guerrero is teaching karate at an after school center in Yonkers to a diverse group of students. "This motivates me," he says. "This wakes me up in the morning."

Guerrero has been teaching karate for 10 years. His dojo has 30 students from ages 5 to 15. He became motivated to teach after responding to a fatal shooting of a 16-year-old drug dealer.

"I could hear the mother screaming and I was in shock because it could've been anybody's kid," Guerrero says. "It could've been my kid."

Before they hit the mats, the students have study hall for one hour to do their homework and study, and receive tutoring.

Some of the kids in his class can afford tuition while some cannot, but Guerrero doesn't turn them away. He works out arrangements with parents, keeps the kids in school, and tries anything to keep them in school like fundraising and movie parties. The money from fundraising keeps the dojo afloat, but it's not enough.

When Guerrero can't pay the rent, he goes into his own pockets. He asks friends for donations and he works overtime to keep the dojo open for the kids.

The Police Athletic League didn't have the money to fund the program, but a $6,000 donation from the Rent Stabilization Association helped buy the uniforms and equipment for his students. It's an investment that helps Guerrero protect, serve, and inspire his students.

"That's my hope in life that they become good people and if we can do that, we did a good job," he says.

Click here to learn more about Guerrero's karate foundation: http://www.guerrerokarate4kids.org/index.html

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