Improving communication between officers and community through improv

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FORT GREENE -

When it comes to police training, improv isn't what typically comes to mind.

Role play, storytelling and other improv exercises are all part of a special program at the Irondale Theater Company to protect, serve and understand.

"There are plenty of things that come from this group, that help me out on the street," says NYPD Officer Demetrious Starling.

About half a dozen police officers attended this collaboration between officers and civilians Tuesday night. The participation aimed to establish open communication with an open mind while acting it out.

The goal of the program is to have honest conversations about sensitive topics, like the recent arrest of a woman selling churros in a subway station.

"I think people are seeing a situation that could've been handled differently," says Terry Greiss, founder of the program.

It all starts over a shared dinner, breaking down barriers by breaking bread.

"Breaking bread together really puts everyone on a very human, even keel," says Greiss.

After dinner is when the learning and laughing begins.

 

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