Hello again! Our most recent community day was a great time of conversation with two police officers from PPD Zone 3, right here on the corner of Warrington Avenue. The hope of this community day was that the kids would see police officers like they see themselves; people who used to be running around and having fun with theirs friends, going to school, doing homework, playing sports, etc.
While the conversation didn't exactly stay on topics such as those, we all felt it was good for the kids to ask their questions, even if they were based on misconceptions. The two officers did their best to help the kids understand that they are there to help and protect anyone and everyone who is in danger. Unfortunately, the habit of our media provides many extreme examples of police that deter many people from even asking for that help and/or protection.
A few of the kids were nervous, but as the conversation went on they became more comfortable asking their questions. All in all it was a good opportunity for the kids to gain more of an understanding of the job of police in our communities, and for the police to understand more about the kids of this specific community. Understanding, respect; these things are two-way streets.
As we begin to see individuals from a perspective separate from the group we associate them with, we can better understand them. By doing this we can break down societal stereotypes and gain a better understanding of our community, as well as our place in it.
"Stereotypes lose their power when the world is found to be more complex than the stereotype would suggest. When we learn that individuals do not fit the group stereotype, then it begins to fall apart."
- Ed Koch