Texas Wesleyan student-athletes and Fort Worth police officers address a group of Fort Worth students at the Bridging the Gap event. Watch KDFW/Fox 4's coverage above. KXAS/NBC 5, KTVT/CBS 11, and Newsradio 1080 KRLD also covered the event.
Fort Worth, Texas – Student-athletes from the Texas Wesleyan football team joined the Fort Worth Police Department to spend some time with kids from across the city as part of its Bridging the Gap: Cops, Kids, & Community initiative. The event was held at GameOn Arena Sports Complex in West Fort Worth.
It was all smiles at the giant GameOn facility as over 100 kids, officers, volunteers, and members of the Texas Wesleyan football team joined together to play sports, have fun, eat free food and establish positive relationships.
Senior running back Jermarcus Jones knows the value of community event like these, "With all of the negative publicity you see in the news surrounding cops, it's really good for kids to see that cops aren't bad, that we [student-athletes] care about them and cops care about them too. It's about a better future for everybody"
Along with the FWPD, the Fort Worth chapter of the Brotherhood of the Fallen, FW Police Athletic League, the Fort Worth Officers Association and the Assist the Officer organization teamed up with Humanizing the Badge, a non-profit organization that helps forge stronger relationships between law enforcement officer and the communities they serve.
Coaches Cory Urlacher and Receivers Coach and Recruiting Coordinator Dwayne Taylor, along with players Brandon Shaw, Jermarcus Jones, Tyquandrik Conner, Desmond Nisby, Andrew Walker, and Jordan Purnell went head-to-head with law enforcement officers in a friendly basketball game before working one-on-one with kids from around the community.
"This event gives kids a chance to see that cops aren't out to get you. It shows that cops are humans and they actually want the best for the community," commented Receivers Coach Dwayne Taylor. "It's a blessing to see cops interact with young men in a positive light. Especially when most of the time if a cop is interacting with a male, regardless of race, it's in a negative manner. This is one big step to humanizing the badge."
Cops for Kids, founded in 2003, has served over 5,000 disadvantaged children in the Fort Worth community by providing gifts to those children in local hospitals, scholarship opportunities, school supplies, and social activities. Through these services, Cops for Kids aims to encourage kids to foster stronger family relationships and quality friends, with a focus on education.
The non-profit organization seeks to unite communities of Fort Worth by providing youth programs and mentorship that motivates, inspires and develops confidence, trust and respect.
This non-profit corporation is committed to sending police officers, in dress uniform, to every funeral in the United States in which a law enforcement officer has been killed by an offender. The organization also provides monetary support to the families of the fallen officers.
The mission of this non-profit organization is to provide short-term financial assistance to officers and their families who suffer serious injury, unexpected illness, or pass away while protecting their communities.