Police Join With Group Using Big-League Sports to Build Community Bridges

Published : Tuesday, October 15, 2019 | 5:20 AM

Image shows an example of the Game Changer program in action is a different city. Courtesy photo

Two Pasadena Police Department officers are headed to a National Hockey League game tonight but it’s business first, thanks to a collaboration with the nonprofit Game Changer, which works to build bridges between community agents through engagement with big-time sports.

The officers will join Game Changer, community members, judicial officers, and elected officials for a three-hour moderated focus group prior to going off en masse, to take in a Los Angeles Kings hockey game at Staples Center.

“Together we discuss community problems and devise solutions,” explains the Game Changer website.

The Game Changer model, the group said, calls upon major sports leagues and prominent artists to allow for the focus groups to occur at their arena, before games, competition or concert time.

The focus groups are intended as a safe space where members of the community, members of law enforcement, elected officials, and members of the judicial system can discuss the issues confronting them.

Repairing to a game afterwards “allows the participants to see each other in a human light, as members of one team routing for a common denominator: the home team,” according to Game Changer.

The exercise will be put in local motion on Nov. 2, through a joint initiative including the Pasadena Police Department, the Rose Bowl, UCLA, and Game Changer, for a like focus group before settling in to watch the Bruins take on the Colorado University Buffaloes.

Game Changer contacted the Pasadena’s Department with an offer to participate in its outreach program, said Commander Arthur Chute, who emphasized that the department is but one of numerous participants.

The event will take place Nov. 2, according to Chute, who said the Pasadena’s contribution to the effort will entail three police officers.

“The outcome we hope for is to build a stronger bond between the police and community through dialogue and understanding in a stress free environment where participants can enjoy a sporting event together,” said Chute.

blog comments powered by Disqus