Shreveport, LA (KMSS) — Like most of the other children, Isis Coleman signed up for Shreveport Police Department's basketball camp for one reason, "I love basketball."
In the first day of the 3 day camp, kids of all ages ran drills to help them learn basketball skills, but that isn’t all they are learning. Cpl. Mary Garrett of the Shreveport Police Department explains, "they're learning to work with each other, and that's a big thing, but also they're working with other kids from all over the city. Everybody gets a chance to do it. They all learn how to work together. And that's something they need to know throughout life, how to work with somebody else."
Within Coleman's classmates, she’s noticed that many feel one way about law enforcement, saying that her friends think "cops are bad people. I guess that's how you can say it."
Garrett understands how that sentiment could have formed. "A lot of times, these kids, the only time is in a bad situation. If we're called to their house, either on their parents, or because of them , if they've done something wrong. That's the only time that they have with us."
That's where events like this camp can help when it comes to community orientated policing. Garrett elaborated, saying "with this, we're not out there to arrest them. We're not out there to arrest their parent. And they actually see, that hey, the police are people too. We can get out and have fun just as much as they do. And maybe it makes them open up and they feel more comfortable talking to us."
Which is exactly the goal of community orientated policing.