It is of the Third Annual Cops and Ballers Basketball tournament that was held Thursday, September 16, 2021, from 4:30-7:00 pm at the basketball courts of Edgewood Park located in the Westville section of the City of New Haven at the intersection of Whalley and West Rock Avenue. The tournament consists of mixed teams of young men of the various community district playing alongside police officers. The objective of the event is to reset past historical and systemic interactions of especially young men and women of color to establish new relationships with those that serve them in the law enforcement community. Each mixed team plays an elimination round that eventually narrows the field to the first, second, third positions who receive trophies for their efforts. The event had a planning committee made up of PLNH, NHPD, Yale University PD, community members of Sam Markle, Shawon Moncrief, Darden Braxton highlighting a well-run committee with an altruistic commitment to affecting social change. It was a pleasure to work with such a highly motivated committee that warrants we find another initiative to put our collaborative skill to work in another future related project. It was positive not only having a diverse group of ballers play and to have their significant others with small children come out to be a part of this great day. Free unlimited ice cream was provided by Women of The Village Food Pantry, with the only requirement being to obtain an ice cream was that you had to vocalize a wish. The Feel Good Laboratory was a sponsor that provided health care products to the first-place winner. Another community sponsor of Off The Tracks provided free of charge a variety of fruit drinks to the participants and their families. The Yale University Police Department was another sponsor who provided the tee-shirts worn by each team, and the New Haven Police Department also provided additional support. PLNH primary mission is to aid in reducing the group/gang gun violence in our area, and have the secondary mission of reconciling the community to the police that serves them and to assist the police in re-establishing a new relationship that will inspire both groups to work more closely together to affect the challenges of group/gang gun violence.
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