Police officers can seem intimidating to a kid. But one metro police department has found a slam dunk way to ease those fears.
At Regional Park in Midwest city, the brackets are up and the courts full of players, and police officers.
“We absolutely love it, it's just a whole different side of law enforcement for us,” said Sgt. Tom Lantz with the Midwest City Police Department.
Thirty-nine teams from all around Midwest City and the surrounding areas showed up on Sunday to play some ball in the city police department’s annual Cops and Community Basketball Tournament.
“It was aggressive,” said 7th grader Brooke Curry. “The teams didn’t show up in our age division, but we kept our attitudes up and we got to play the police and it was pretty fun.”
And they beat them.
“We did pretty good, I mean, we made the lay-ups and a lot of three-point shots,” said Curry. “It's just fun to have everybody together and just play basketball.”
“We want people to understand that cops are human too and we want people to know that we love being out in the community,” said Lantz.
More than 120 kids showed up to the free event to show off their fancy footwork while the police served as referees.
“I think it's pretty cool that the police officers are doing it for us and stuff like that,” said 7th grader La’Siera Laviolette. “I like it. They're good guys.”
The event also included free food and bounce houses.
“You know, every once in a while, they have to see us on the news,” said Lantz. “So, for them to see us giving the opportunity to play basketball with them and hang out with them, you know, it's pretty neat.”
All the winners in Sunday’s tournament took home cash prizes.