It isn’t often that we hear a story about a detective that doesn’t involve the typical elements of advanced police work, and those elements – unfortunately – are typically sobering if not downright depressing. After all, much of the nature of detective work is to investigate crimes and other situations that are violent and felonious in nature. But detective Jack Mook of the Pittsburgh Police Department has done something to change that.
Mook recently adopted two young boys who were likely headed for a life of violence and despair. Mook owns Steel City Boxing, a nonprofit gymnasium in Pittsburgh that serves the community by providing a means for young people to exercise and a place to go in order to keep them off the streets.
The two boys, Josh and Jesse, and 15 and 11, respectively, and had been living with their mother and father in a house that Mook described as “a dilapidated home” that was infested with roaches and rats. He says that the conditions in the home were so unlivable that the city of Pittsburgh saw fit to condemn the structure after the boys had been removed from the custody of their parents.
He had met the boys in 2007 when they showed up at his gym one day asking about boxing lessons. Mook began instructing them and developed a close relationship with the brothers.
Then one day in 2012, he noticed that they had stopped coming to the gym. Mook did a brief search for them and found Josh near his school. He was crying, which Mook says he found very unusual because, he says, neither of the boys ever cried. But Josh proceeded to tell Mook about their horrible living conditions and the fact that they hadn’t slept in a bed in six years, only on a couch or on the floor. Detective Mook decided then and there to become the boys’ foster parent and this past week, seven years after he began giving the boys boxing lessons, his adoption of them was finalized.