“You actually talked. Interval. ‘: Greensboro police meet youngsters for an trustworthy backwards and forwards on the Boys and Ladies Membership
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GREENSBORO, NC – A local organization is working to build relationships with youth and police officers. The Greensboro Salvation Army Boys and Girls Club held an event to bring the two groups together for open conversation and the foundation of a good relationship.
“Our Boys and Girls Club Youth Center has decided to host an event where they can both develop relationships with the Greensboro Police Department and discuss current issues and youth attitudes towards police relations,” said Grace Thompson , the director of operations for the Boys and Girls Club, said.
She says these types of conversations are especially important for the teenagers.
“It’s so important because our club members need the ability to have a voice. They are the future of Greensboro, so they need an opportunity to share their choices and how they view their neighborhoods, ”Thompson said.
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There was an element of fun in a dodgeball game between the officers and the teenagers. However, the conversation was the main event. The director of the teen center helped students formulate questions about law enforcement fundamentals and other topics they wanted to understand better in relation to their local law enforcement officers.
“Well, my question was, ‘What are the city police officers doing for the people of the city to make them feel better?'” Said Jaquez Crawford, a member of the teen center.
Mary Banks is the director of the teen center. She said that informal but important conversation also helped resolve a problem many teenagers face.
“One of the things that we really have trouble talking to the teenagers with is fear of the police. We really wanted to create a way for them to see that the police are just normal people. ”Banks said.
The officials also helped with this. They took the time to introduce themselves, to talk about their hobbies and interests. Some even tried to meet the students who live in the districts they patrol to establish relationships.
“We can spot those who have played kickball, dodgeball, or even danced with them. It was really an opportunity to realize, ‘Oh, OK, these are the same cops in my school, in my community.’ Just take the opportunity and say, ‘You know what, we can talk to you,’ ”said Banks.
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“I knew a few of them, to be honest, because some of them patrol my neighborhood, so I took a lot of information with me,” Crawford said.
Overall, the young people appreciate this open dialogue.
“I feel like they gave great inspiration to both the teenagers at the Boys and Girls Club and me. I feel like they have a lot of real stuff out there, they were real talking, period, and they were there for us on this program, ”Crawford said.
And overall, it helped create a foundation for a bond between the two groups.
“I think they’re actually going to take away like, ‘Hey, I should probably stop and say hello to these cops because they’re someone too,'” Banks said.
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