DCPD/DCFD connect with local kids

By Emily Garcia
Dodge City Globe – April 10, 2017

Often times kids may feel intimidated when encountering a police officer or firefighter simply because of their uniform and the authority they hold. Dodge City local first responders are aiming to eliminate that mindset.

The Dodge City Police Department and the Dodge City Fire Department are reaching out to local kids ages 11 and up to come enjoy a friendly game of basketball.

The event will take place this Sunday at the Dodge City Family YMCA from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

“One of our officers wanted to do something to build relationships with kids, and she took it upon herself to contact the Y to where they reserved the facility for us to be able to do that,” said DCPD deputy chief Jerad Goertzen. “We asked the fire department if they wanted to be a part of it and they said that they did, so we went forward with it.”

This idea first came about last year. According to Goertzen, the event went really well and the officers, firefighters and kids all had a great time.

“We had a good turnout,” Goertzen explained. “There were several officers and firefighters that showed up. I can’t remember how many kids we had— we had two games going on at the same time though, so there was a good amount of them.”

Goertzen stated that the main objective of this event is to connect with these kids in a friendly way.

“The goal is for the kids to see us in a different light,” he said. “It’s for us to be able to engage with them in a non-enforcement capacity, for us to be able to enjoy time with citizens and build relationships with kids.”

Goertzen stated that he ultimately hopes that these kids are able to enjoy themselves.

“I hope that they can see it as us making an effort to try to get to know them better,” he said. “Hopefully they just have fun, that’s the goal is for them to have fun.”

A bonus of holding this event is the fact that it encourages kids to make good decisions, stated Goertzen.

“Maybe someone was going to make a bad decision on that night,” he said. “If we offered them time to come hangout with us, then they’ll do that instead.”

Kids of all ages are welcome to come play basketball with these local first responders.

 

Posted by Gwen Dorr Romine, KSFFA Webmaster
http://www.ksffa.com
KSFFA’s Fire News Blog Home Page

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