Aaron Peppers, a Maywood police officer, has been assigned to Proviso East since 2001. The blue-collar village of approximately 27,000 faces numerous challenges. There were five murders in 2007, 12 in 2008 and two so far this year. Peppers has strong ties to the community as a native of Maywood and graduate of Proviso East. He started as a police officer in 1995 and began coaching the football team in 2001. Here he and his team say a quick prayer before their game against St. Patrick at Proviso East in Maywood, Ill. on the first day of school. For more on Aaron Peppers, watch a on his coach by day, cop by night world.
Tribune photo by Heather Charles