Bay PD hosts cookout for youth
By Dwayne Bremer, Staff Writer
Jul 14, 2017, 16:33
Members of the BSL Police Department and children from the Hancock County Boys and Girls Club. Echo staff photo by Dwayne Bremer
Members of the Bay St. Louis Police Department on Thursday cooked lunch for more than 200 children at the Bay-Waveland Boys and Girls Club.
Police Chief Daren Freeman said the idea for the cookout came about a few weeks ago when a BPD officer was asked if the police could periodically stop by the club to interact with children.
"I thought it was a great idea and we decided to host a cookout," Freeman said. "We want to establish a good relationship with the children and the community. This builds trust and it fits perfectly into the community outreach things we are trying to do."
Freeman said BPD officers will continue to make stops at the club and he hopes to host future events there, as well.
Boys and Girls Club Director Marion Vincent said interaction between the children and the police will benefit everyone.
"The kids get to see that these police officers are not just someone in a uniform," she said. "They can talk to them and have fun with them. It will lead to a better relationship as they continue to grow."
Vincent said several other groups also support the club and she encourages any local entity or group to get involved.
Freeman said Thursday's event was the first of three community- outreach events planned in the next few weeks.
On July 28, BPD officers will attend another "Coffee with a Cop" morning gathering at the Starfish Cafe.
On Aug. 1, BPD officers will participate in the annual Night out Against Crime.
Freeman said his goal is to have functions every month where the police interact with the community.
"It's important to the community and it helps us stay in touch with what is going on and how people feel," he said. "We want to continue to build a positive relationship with each other."