New Britain Police Build Relationship With Kids Through Basketball - NBC Connecticut

New Britain Police Build Relationship With Kids Through Basketball

Along with giving kids something fun to do, the Midnight Basketball program is a chance to continue to build good relationships between officers and the community.

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    New Britain Police Get to Know Community Through Basketball

    Along with giving kids something fun to do, the Midnight Basketball program is a chance to continue to build good relationships between officers and the community.

    (Published Friday, May 17, 2019)

    A new program is getting kids and police teaming up on the basketball court.

    The New Britain Police Athletic League, or PAL, is a nonprofit youth organization backed by the police department. In May they started a new program called Midnight Basketball.

    "It's very interesting," said participant Elijah Bryant. "It's something I usually don't see a lot."

    "We want to bridge the gap between police officers and the youth in New Britain, and a great way to do that is to have academic activities, athletic activities, just different programs that we can all interact in a positive way," said Officer Barry Hertzler, the Officer in Charge of PAL.

    Middle and high school students come out on Friday and Saturday nights from 6 p.m. - 10 p.m. to shoot some hoops during the warmer months. Along with giving kids something fun to do, it's a chance to continue to build good relationships between officers and the community.

    "The next thing you know we might see them when we're in uniform and the relationship has completely changed. We can trust one another, we can have laughs with one another, high fives," said Hertzler.

    And by attending Midnight Basketball, kids might become interested in another program like Police Explorers. Travis Brown takes part in Police Explorers to learn about law enforcement. Brown came out to help Friday night's event at Osgood Park and says it's a great way to bring kids together.

    "We get to meet a lot of the people in different neighborhoods around here that we really don't see on a day to day basis," said Brown.

    Costco and Whitsons Food Services donate food for the games.

    To learn more about New Britain PAL and if you'd like to donate, click here.

    You can also go to the New Britain Police Department and drop your donation off at the front desk.

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