The Colorado Springs Police Department (CSPD) recently launched a new program to facilitate positive interactions with the Springs community, and to help officers develop relationships with community members.
Dubbed ‘PLAY COS,’ the program was developed by the CSPD Community Relations Unit.
According to the city of Colorado Springs’ website, “Through donations, the idea is to supply each of CSPD’s patrol divisions with sports balls (i.e., footballs, soccer balls, basketballs) for officers to keep in their cruisers to give out to kids and teens during their shift.”
“The program also involves sports/giveaway events in which officers interact with numerous young community members through sports and recreation.”
Here are several pictures from one such event:
Photo Credit: CSPD
The sports balls are provided through donations from the community.
The various business partners that have made financial and sports equipment donations to PLAY COS include:
- Blazer Electric
- Toys for Tots
- 8th Street Walmart
- Dick’s Sporting Goods
- Several Community Member Donors
PLAY COS grew into a formalized program organically, after officers frequently bought sports equipment to give away to kids in the Colorado Springs community.
Even though the program is permanent and official now, officers still give out of their own pockets to support the program.
“Nothing builds a relationship quicker than sports,” CSPD Community Relations Sgt. Jason Newton said of the initiative. “A person can walk on to a basketball court with a ball and within a couple of minutes the ball is being dribbled and shots taken with whoever is nearby.”
Since the program began last year, officers “have already given away nearly 1,100 balls to local kids and teens. They have also partnered with three local community centers, seven local schools, the Girl Scouts of Colorado, and ULPPR Summer Camp to put on 25 PLAY COS events.”
Photo from Shutterstock.