PAL hosts kids' sports day in BX park
More than 400 children from all five boroughs joined the annual Police Athletic League Sports Day in Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx Friday.
PAL counselors say the youths were excited to spend the day playing sports and having fun inside a stadium.
Organization leaders say that the connection between youth groups and the police can help improve community relationships.
"The first time you meet a police officer should be in a fun, nurturing environment," says Fred Watts, executive director of the PAL.
Organizers say they hope that introducing children to police officers in a non-traditional setting can diminish some of the fears they may have of officers.
"It gives a 10-year-old the opportunity to see a police officer is just a regular person who likes kids, likes sports," Watts says.