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Basketball Building Bridges Between Miami Police and Black and Brown Communities – CBS Miami

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The Miami Heat and the Miami Police Department continue to team up on the basketball court to advance their community bridge building initiative.

“I went ahead and played ball with them, shot with them,” said officer David Mezadieu.

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Miami Police Partners with Miami Heat to Build Community Bridges Through Basketball (CBS4)

He is no stranger to hoops, or the Little Haiti community where he now works, as he was once a young boy growing up there. He also knows firsthand how valuable basketball has been in connecting with young people.

“When I was growing up, we really didn’t have that and being able to have that program is really important,” Mezadieu said.

Now the Miami Heat and the Miami Police Department are teaming up to train officers to build and strengthen relationships in black and brown communities with a basketball.

“We’re coming out here and humanizing the badge, there’s nothing to worry about, the cops are here for the sole purpose of protecting you, our children and our community,” Miami Police Chief said. , Manny Morales.

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A key part of this is interaction.

“I know sports have traditionally brought together people of all colors and religions,” Alonzo Mourning Jr., vice president of the Miami Heat Players Program told CBS4.

Five hundred officers have already been trained under the Dedication to Community program, but on Thursday the Heat and Miami police departments announced they would facilitate the training of all 900 officers in the force.

Miami Police Partners with Miami Heat to Build Community Bridges Through Basketball (CBS4)

Wilson donates 1,000 basketballs to equip each of the officers with a basketball to keep in their car. This could come in hand for a random pickup game and potentially form a bond.

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“I can relate to the things they go through then and give them advice to never give up,” Mezadieu said.

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