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Former inmates help Pleasant Grove Police move into their new building

Posted at 9:13 PM, May 06, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-06 23:13:04-04

PLEASANT GROVE, Utah -- Several of the men who helped the Pleasant Grove Police Department move into its new building Monday had been arrested by some of the officers they helped.

The men say their experiences on the wrong side of the law taught them life lessons.

"It`s changed my life," Justin Alex said. "It`s helped me to become a man."

Justin, with his friends Austin and Cam, had all been arrested on drug and theft charges, but all wanted to change their lives for the better.

"I was tired of running," Cam Tran said. "I was tired of the person. I was tired of hurting my family, my kids so I wanted something different."

They got involved with The Other Side Academy.

It's a two-year residential life skills and vocational training program for men and women with a history of criminal behavior, drug addiction, and homelessness.

They're taught to live a life of integrity, accountability and honesty.

"Trying to affect real change in their lives and they come back to move us on this very momentous occasion and it`s just an incredible story," Captain Britt Smith with the Pleasant Grove Police Department said.

"It actually fills my soul," Austin Nicholas said. "Service is something that I`ve never really done in my life and being able to give back to my community fills my soul, it makes me feel so good to be able to give something back without expecting anything in return."

The old police department building will be re-purposed and used by the Community Development Department.