Harlem teens and local police officers get together for a night of food, fun and conversation.
The Children’s Aid Society and the Keystone Club hosted the forum "We the Teens" Friday night, an opportunity for young people to get to know officers from the 23rd Precinct.
Organizers say communication is key to establishing positive relationships between teens and law enforcement.
"For the kids and for the cops, I hope we put a name and a face to the person, so that when we see each other on the street, it won’t be a foreign interaction anymore," said NYPD Community Affairs Officer Peter Gibbons. "We’ll know each other, we’ll have a better understanding where we come from, the similarities between us, and that we’re part of the same East Harlem community."
"That’s what we’re really heading for, our communication get better and stuff, so teens feel safe on streets and vice versa with the officers," said one teen.
About sixty teenagers took part in the forum.
Organizers say they hope to hold more events like this in the future.