Dover event helps police bond with the community

DOVER— In a continued effort to maintain and improve positive community relations, Dover Police Department in collaboration with Communities in Schools of Delaware held a “Spring Jam Event” Friday afternoon.

“It’s a great event,” said Dover Lt. Christopher Hermance. “The uniform is off and we get to be in touch with kids and different people in the community.

“There aren’t any barriers. It gives us a chance to be active with everyone engaged in the community.”

The event was held at Loockerman Way Plaza. Some of the activities included 3-on-3 basketball, music, a bounce house, face painting and a mobile gaming truck.

Qualear Bumbrey, 13, said it helps bridge the gap between the community and the police department.

“Everyone is free and hanging out for the day,” he said. “It’s a great event until it’s time to go back to school. It helps build that bond. They came out here to show us that they’re here to help us and better ourselves.”

Other additional community partners were on hand to provide information about programs and offer services, including Kent County Parks and Recreation Boys and Girls Clubs of Delaware.

Star Hill AME Church held a voter registration for residents, as well.

The event also marked the launch of the Dover Police Department’s Police Athletic League (P.A.L.).

“This is the first event for 2016,” Lt. Hermance said. “We did one in October and this will help promote the league. We’re going to do different events throughout the summer. We’re open to different ideas and suggestions from the community.”

The P.A.L. program was launched by Officer Keith Hester.

“We did this program years ago,” Officer Hester said. “We’re trying to resurrect it by starting off small and we have a few programs going on now.

“We teach a life skills course. It’s not all sports — it’s a combination of sports and life skills.”

Lt. Hermance said it’s important to be engaged with residents.

“It helps build that bond,” Lt. Hermance said. “We get to talk to them and see what’s going on. We serve the community and it’s where we work so we need to be a part of it. It’s our community.”

Qualear said he hopes there are more events in the future.

“We should have this a lot more, so all the negativity in the streets will go away,” Qualear said. “This a way for us to just have fun and enjoy each other.”

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