Innovation team helps City of Mobile uncover new ways to connect with youth

Creating lasting, collaborative relationships between police and the communities they serve is a cornerstone of promoting public safety. And in Mobile, Ala., thanks to the work of the Bloomberg Philanthropies-funded innovation team (i-team), police are fostering important connections with some of the city’s youngest residents. The i-team recently convened a task force to uncover new ways City Police in Mobile can engage with local children. One way, which is highlighted in the video above, was for cadets to organize a recreation day for elementary students during spring break.

“When you come out here and play basketball or kickball, like we have been doing here lately, [we] get to meet with the kids and they get to see the human side of the badge,” explained Officer Micah Jones.

That connection helped the department drive home a message that, “We’re here for them, and that they can always come to us for help, no matter what,” said Cadet Matthew Towey.

It also added immense value to the cadets’ education. “[This experience] is going to last [throughout] these officers’ careers,” said Corporal John Young.

Going forward, Police Chief James Barber said he plans to make the recreation day part of all new officer’s training.

Celebrating public sector progress and innovation in cities around the world. Run by @BloombergDotOrg’s Government Innovation program.

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