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Tamarind Slam Basketball event held in West Palm Beach

Posted at 9:49 PM, Oct 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-01 23:24:36-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Sixth-grader Tavares Williams is working on his basketball skills. He said once he heard about the first annual "Tamarind Slam Basketball Event" to be held in his neighborhood, he knew where he was going to spend his Friday night.

"And I stay over here so I wanted to come," he said.

The event is being put on by the West Palm Beach Police Department and the city's criminal justice advisory committee.

"We need some positive activity in the neighborhood," Lee Lipsick with the city's criminal justice advisory committee said.

So part of the idea is to bring in local basketball coaches to help kids 8 and older with skills. A grill is set up to cook burgers and hot dogs along with a food truck.

"If people come out of their homes and be comfortable with enjoying their community I truly believe the negative vibes will change," Michael Odum said.

Chief Frank Adderly said the issue with this neighborhood is crime. So, he's helped to put this event on to encourage better community relations with law enforcement.

"I think this is the neighborhood we need to have trust, we need to have a better relationship with," said Chief Frank Adderly. The violent crime that's associated with here is something that's very serious one that we need to come together with the community to address."

Adderly made it clear that trust from folks who live here will take time.

Tavares, he, and the other kids are having a ball. So does he plan to play ball?

"Yes, at my high school," he said.

The city said this is the first step in building trust to fight crime in a community that badly needs it.