A Bronx precinct and its community recently collaborated at a block party.
On Thursday, August 20, the 47th Precinct, along with collaborators and partners from the community, held a block party to provide youth with school supplies and fun activities.
The first-time event, which took place outside of the precinct house on Laconia Avenue between 229th and 230th streets, included a backpack giveaway, where elementary and middle school students were given a free backpack with school supplies, a rock climbing wall, a bounce house, a dunk tank, a DJ booth and a barbecue for those in attendance.
The block party saw the 47th Precinct collaborate with the New York Fire Department, Well Care, different block associations as well as the Precinct Council.
Many political leaders, such as Senator Ruth Hassell-Thompson, Congressman Eliot Engel, Councilman Andy King, Assemblyman Carl Heastie and Senator Jeff Klein, also contributed and showed their support towards the event.
“The goal of this event was to give back to our community and the children within it, while also preventing our youth from going down the wrong path and making bad decisions,” said commanding officer Ruel Stephenson.
“Policing is not only about catching criminals and felons and locking them up, it also involves developing relationships with our community’s youth and helping them make positive choices while providing them with a quality lifestyle of health and safety.”
“This event will provide children in our community with the supplies and tools they need to become educationally successful while decreasing the risks of them living a life of crime in the future.”
“The initial vision was to give backpacks filled with school supplies to school children in need, but (the 47th Precinct) decided to turn the giveaway into an event for the community,” said officer David Belle.
“The idea of this event is giving back to the community, especially its youth, and what better time to do so than right before the school year begins.”
“I came to this event to promote my organization, but more importantly, to support the community, its children as well as the precinct,” said community activist Barbara Gibson, who promoted her group Alfrba, an organization that teaches youth about social manners and life skills.
“Anything involved in assisting youth, especially in the Bronx, is a positive step towards providing them with what they need to be successful,” she added.