NYPD takes community to court for a game of basketball

[Editor’s Note: Post originally appeared on SILive.com, where I was a breaking news intern from January to August 2016]

The Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD) and Leadership Through Sports sponsored a police versus community basketball game at the Gerard Carter Community Center in Stapleton Saturday night.

Police from the 120 precinct played a friendly game of basketball to help facilitate a good relationship between police and the community.

“We want to show the community that law enforcement is here to help them as well as that we’re one in the same,” said Sgt. Joseph Alohan, who runs the Domestic Violence Unit at the 120th Precinct. “We play basketball, interact, laugh, joke, smile, bleed and cry the same as them.”

Eugene Williams, one of the community players, said the basketball game was, “Something I had never experienced before. …I loved it, every second of it. It’s something I could see myself doing for years to come; I hope I can get together with these officers again. It’s explainable; I can’t even describe it in words.”

“They’re human beings and they have families and responsibilities just like us. They just want to enjoy life and have a great time,” he added.

The center where the game took place is named after Gerard Carter, a police officer who died while on duty on July 31, 1998.