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Basketball tournament brings together law enforcement officers and the youth

Police officers also educated the youth on how to interact with them if they get pulled over at a traffic stop.

Posted: Mar 17, 2018 6:10 PM

Law enforcement officers are working to build relationship with people in the community. This time, they're doing it on the court.

The Jack and Jill of America Huntsville Chapter and Alabama A&M University got together to host a basketball tournament.

It gives local police and young people a chance to know one another.

"A lot of students, they like basketball. So we say hey lets come out and have a basketball game," said Alabama A&M University campus police officer Destiney Toney.

"In this world, there's so much stuff happening right now. We need something to make us better and to bring down all the tension and the pressure we're having," said Ted Edwards, who's a rehab physician.

The teams for the 'Strides Against Violent Encounters' tournament consisted of Madison County Sheriff's deputies, Alabama A&M University campus police officers, health care professionals, college students and people from the community.

"This is a function where you get the chance to see police officers as humans. Not as being portrayed as a bad guy all the time and the stuff going on in the media. We see they're humans, we can interact together and have fun," Edwards said.

Madison City Police Sgt. Clayton Jordan also taught the young folks about traffic laws and what to do if they're pulled over.

"If they're stopped during the night time. Depending on weather, roll your windows down, turn your interior light off, so the officer can see the interior of your car and how many people are in your car. Keep both hands on the wheel," said Sgt. Clayton Jordan.

Alabama A&M's officer Destiney Tony said playing basketball with the students builds better relationships.

"We try to find common ground with them and relate to them more on their level. With college students, it's a tough crowd. You want to come down to their level on a more positive light," Toney said.

This is the second year the tournament has taken place. People who participated said they hope it continues to grow next year.

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