SALEM, Ore. — Nic Rumsey's a good skateboarder. He's also an Oregon State Police Trooper.
Rumsey's been skating since he was a kid, growing up in Hood River. After taking some time off for his career and to start a family, he's back at it.
Rumsey occasionally used a skateboard to connect with young skaters in Independence, where he served on the force for eight years. He found it to be a good community policing tool.
"I'd get out and I'd borrow a board and I'd do tricks with them and they'd always be, 'oh wow a skateboarding officer,' so it was always fun to kind of surprise people like that," said Rumsey.
Toward the end of his time as an Independence officer, his police chief suggested he get involved in an effort to build a skate park in nearby Monmouth.
Rumsey quickly jumped on board. And now, in less than a year as a trooper and with the blessing of OSP, he is carrying on with the skate park mission.
Rumsey met us at the park in Silverton to tell us about the new skate park effort. He's proud of the young people he is working with to make the park in Monmouth a reality.
"There's stereotypes for everybody including skateboarders so, the stereotype that everybody's out there causing problems, getting in trouble doing drugs at the skatepark really isn't true," he said.
Rumsey and others have been developing design plans and fundraising in cooperation with the city, to try and make the skate park a reality. The trooper estimates the park will cost about $650,000. The volunteer group is trying to raise about $250,000 of it. They have a long way to go, but the trooper thinks it's a good investment in the community and its young people.
"It gives a focal point of where they can go, even in the community where you're not supposed to skate, there's really not anywhere great to go. It gives them a place," he said.
The skate park is likely a few years out. If you want to get involved by volunteering or donating, you can follow along through the group's Facebook page.
Watch raw video of Trooper Rumsey skateboarding: