WILLARD, Mo.– – Glenn Cozzens has been in law enforcement nearly two-decades and he’s a seven-year Army veteran.
Through his time in service, he’s found his true passion is empowering youth.
Cozzens said, “I love working with kids. I love seeing the results when anybody learns something or gains something boxing is one of many things that gives a person confidence and skills and just helps them through life problems. When they see something, they are like I can work my way through this. And that’s what you do in boxing as well.”
Cozzens was inspired and began the Willard Police Athletic League (PAL) program 10-years ago.
His vision of growing the program continues. Kids between 8-and 18 from around the region are welcome to come to the police department two days a week to box, jump rope and train. Adults are invited as well.
During the program, Cozzens is their mentor and Olympic level coach.
“Glenn is the coach of the whole place and he’s pretty fun,” said 10-year old Justin Duran.
The department garage has turned into a training facility and the officers serve as role models.
“We knew it would be good but understanding the depth of the goodness cannot come until you are actually immersed in the work and so once we’ve been working with the kids a year two years and more then we began to realize oh my goodness these kids are going to remember these encounters at the gym for the rest of their lives,” said Willard Police Chief Tom McClain.
Cozzens was nominated for the trust award because of his dedication to this program and the people it serves. The program is growing and has already inspired hundreds of youth in Southwest Missouri.
This 50-acre property is owned by the city. The property has a police target range, a creek, trails, kids camp for boys and girls with Cozzens, other police officers and an archery range.
The four-core areas of character, responsibility, discernment, honor, and self-control, are etched in the campgrounds.
They believe those four core areas cover everything that defines an individual person. At a very base level, the program teaches responsibly, knowing and doing what’s expected of you.
The children and parents show their appreciation for the leaders of the program.
The program builds life-long experiences and skill sets that lead to strong character.