Building relationships with police. Dozens of local kids got to shoot hoops with police at a basketball camp in Palm Beach Gardens.
It was pint-sized players taking on the big guys at Palm Beach Gardens High School. All part of the Ball Stars Youth Camp.
They were playing not only with retired NBA All Stars but with Palm Beach Gardens police officers.
“You expect them to be in basketball clothes not in their uniform,” said 12-year-old Jordan Brown.
This morning, about 75 kids ages eight to 12 were learning skills and drills from men in uniform.
Today kids and officers were teammates working together and building trust.
“I think its really cool, they save lots of people,” said 10-year-old Jonathan Fluck.
Nine-year-old Logan Schwarz said, “They usually are, you know, arrest people but they're actually pretty fun.”
Palm Beach Gardens Assistant Police Chief Jim Stormes says strengthening community relations is what today is all about.
“I think it's really, really important that we have a little more unity and really work together rather than against each other,” said Officer Stormes.
“What is your view of police?” WPTV asked 15-year-old Jasiya Steward. “They’re cool,” he said.
Jasiya says his parents talk to him about what to do if he’s stopped by police. “If you get stopped by the police, do what they say and don't talk back. Just say yes ma'am no ma'am Be polite.”
Today it’s all about fun and making friends along the way.
“I want to show them what I can do, that I'm not just get on the streets being bad,” said Jasiya.
We asked Officer Stormes, “Do you think some of these kids could beat you?” He replied, “Oh, I think most of them could beat me,” said Officer Stormes. “I think some of the eight to 12 year olds could beat me.”
The Ball Stars Youth Camp runs through July 15. Next week it will be held at Palm Beach Lakes High School and the week after that at Forest Hill High School. For information and to sign up for this free camp, click on this link: www.ballstarsyouthcamp.com