Chillin’ with Cops Was a Slam Dunk

Broward Sheriff Office (BSO) Weston District hosted a community policing event, “Chillin’ with Cops”, at the Weston Regional Park. The goal was for the deputies to interact with the young members of the community and their families in an informal setting to meet the Weston deputies and establish good police-community relationships. 

Everyone met on the basketball courts for some good old-fashioned sports fun. Kids of all ages got to toss the ball around with the men in blue before enjoying snow cones and a surprise appearance by Burnie, The Miami Heat mascot, and the Miami Heat dancers. The event was a success with over 200 people attending. At the helm was Deputy Danielle Quinones. The ambitious officer was the brainchild behind it all because she wanted to improve people’s attitudes toward the police and increase their trust in law enforcement.

“One of the most fundamental keys to successful law enforcement is the relationship between the police and the communities we serve.  Good police-community relations are imperative for developing trust and building community partnerships,” explained Deputy Quinones. “This event was filled with nothing but smiles and fun.  It truly proved that these types of events are effective across all our community members. We are extremely grateful to work in such a beautiful community that welcomes us each day!”

The framework for establishing trust between the community and the police has always been community policing. However, over time the nation’s communities’ character and composition have changed due to a shift in demographics, an influx of commuters, and the introduction of social media, and other online communication methods. Events such as these open the door for law enforcement officers and the community to interact in a casual situation rather than a crisis.

“Community outreach is a priority to us and something we strive to improve upon every day. This event was a great way to have fun while building relationships between our deputies and the youth of our community.  What better way to get to know each other than while enjoying snow cones!  Everyone had a blast playing basketball, soccer, and touring the SWAT truck!  I can’t wait for our next event and the opportunity to meet some more of our residents,” exclaimed Lieutenant Michele McCardle.