NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) — A Newport News pastor is working to take back the community by bringing together kids, churches and law enforcement.
InTouch Community Basketball Tournament at the Denbigh Community Center kicked off Saturday with a matchup of Newport News police officers versus Newport News deputies. NNPD took the win and the bragging rights for the next year.
Reverend Dr. Willard Maxwell with New Beech Grove Baptist Church puts this friendly tournament together every year for law enforcement and kids to ball alongside each other.
Jamal Carrol, a Menchville High School student, says he already knows most of the officers from the Boys & Girls Club.
“They are very nice, they are not as bad as you would think.”
Maxwell said it’s all about creating positive interactions on the court, and hopefully that will transfer off the court. Now a $60,000 grant through a partnership with the NNPD Foundation will allow the program to be available year-round.
“The Department of Justice feels as though it helps deter gun violence, and that also helps build relationships with the community and the police,” explained Willard.
Law enforcement will coach the kids every Thursday at the Boys & Girls Club.
“When we talk about community policing, we always try to define it. Maybe sometimes we would just show it,” said Police Chief Steve Drew.