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Northeast Times | October 23, 2021

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Fort Worth: Bridging the gap between law enforcement and residents through dialogue, basketball tournament

Fort Worth: Bridging the gap between law enforcement and residents through dialogue, basketball tournament

Two days of fun, community dialogue and basketball are in store for Fort Worth Police officers and the youth of Fort Worth during the second annual Bridging the Gap event, which will take place at Sycamore Community Center, 2525 E. Rosedale.

The first day, Friday, April 19, will last from 11 a.m.-3 p.m., and will include open forums, dialogue and role play between law enforcement and young people ages 10-17. Guest speakers will attend, as will key City of Fort Worth officials. There will also be video presentations and interactive activities. Lunch will be provided for the event’s youth participants.

The second day will include a single-elimination basketball tournament for boys ages 14-17, beginning at 9 a.m. and lasting until 6 p.m. Saturday, April 20. Teams will compete for the inaugural Bridging the Gap Trophy, and concessions will be available. There will be a $2 fee for tournament spectators.

The event is intended to help “bridge the gap” between law enforcement and the local community to promote positive relationships between residents and Fort Worth Police. The event aims to create an atmosphere for open dialogue, positive interaction and engagement that will lead to improved relations with police. The ultimate goal is to reduce apprehension around police interactions, make the community safer and ultimately create mutual respect between participants and law enforcement.

The event will be hosted by the FW@6 program, which aims to reach at-risk youth in need of safe places and structured activities that promote positive life outcomes and encourage responsible community stewardship. The core elements of the program include education and personal development, employment readiness, recreation, life skills and community responsibility. The program is available at five of the city’s community centers.