FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) - Over the past several years communities all over have been struggling with relationships with police.
Samiyah White says she herself had a limited view of law enforcement, saying "My opinion of them was usually from what I saw on TV and movies. I didn't think very positively about them."
Three years ago, local law enforcement officers and the Boys and Girls Club of Fort Wayne set out to change that view.
Joe Jordan, the President and the CEO of the Boys and Girls Club of Fort Wayne recounted how the program begin, saying "We had two staff members came to me with this concept of bringing police into the club and establishing a program called Blue Bucket Brigade."
The Blue Bucket Brigade program aims to help the most vulnerable in our community, like Samiyah, connect with those who are most trusted.
One of the architects of the program is Captain Mitchell McKinney of the Fort Wayne Police Department. He wants to make sure these kids see beyond the badge.
"We spend time with these kids all year around. The good thing about that is we get to talk to them about being people, not the uniform, not what police do, what they do and what their interests are as well," said McKinney.
The kids go out and about in the community, holding big blue buckets, asking for donations which fund programs to help build those positive environments.
The results are visible. The third year of the campaign kicked off on Monday at the Boys and Girls Club and kids got the chance to see bomb-robots, sit inside the swat vehicles, but also just hang out and play games, helping change the opinions the kids had before.
White says now her opinion of law enforcement has changed thanks to the Blue Bucket Brigade. I think they're very great people, they're just misunderstood and people should take the time to maybe interact with the police officer if they could and they would get a better understanding instead of judging them off of what society thinks of them," White said.
So when you see these blue buckets out and they're asking for donations, know they're asking you to invest in their future.
To get your child involved in the Boys andGirls Club of Fort Wayne, click here or give them a call at (260) 744-0998.
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