North Charleston PD using basketball, cookouts to connect with community

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NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – The North Charleston Police Department (NCPD) is using fun and games at their “Community Roll Call” event to help bridge the gap between police officers and people they serve in their communities.

“Having these kids to realize that it’s not us against them and to know that we are all in this fight together. It’s amazing thing to see so many kids come out,” says Keith Smalls, Organizer for Basketball After Dark, which helps connect kids and police through basketball.

Smalls says he has felt the impact of crime in the neighborhoods like Union Heights, more than others.

“Being a survivor to gun violence and losing my 17-year-old son to gun violence has led me to be a mentor and community leader. I always look for the opportunity to use collaborative effort with the North Charleston Police Department,” said Smalls.

Smalls has helped coordinate Basketball After Dark since April 2020, to help to alleviate any crime in the community through the game of basketball. NCPD says they were more than happy to join him in his mission.

“Gives the community a chance to watch basketball, socialize with the police department, meet our officers and have some fun,” said Deputy Chief Karen Cordray with NCPD.

Once a month NCPD hosts their community events, going through various communities to get children, adults and police officers to build relationships.

“This is our way to communicate with them on what would they like to see. We want people to tell us what they have going on in their neighborhoods,” says Deputy Chief Cordray.

Community leaders like Smalls says these events are needed now more than ever as crime continues to rise in North Charleston.

“These kids deserve to have a future and they are our future. I think this will create dividends for our city,” Smalls says.

NCPD is hosting their next “Community Roll Call” event in Northwoods Estates on November 17th.

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