An example to follow

Published 7:35 pm Saturday, April 30, 2011

A group of Suffolk police officers pitched in to help raise money for Crime Line on Friday.

The men matched up against Forest Glen Middle School’s best players. In the end, the police won.

But the point of the game wasn’t who won, and raising money for Crime Line was only part of the purpose for the event.

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Faculty at Forest Glen wanted the students to view the police officers in a positive light — the light of a gymnasium, rather than with flashing blue lights in their neighborhood.

“We want to have a good time with the police,” said teacher Charlene Dunne. “This is trying to instill a positive influence.”

The event was sponsored by Wildcat Watchers, a group of students who make themselves the eyes and ears of police in their school and neighborhoods.

The game was important for a number of reasons, not the least of which is the fostering of relationships between the community and the police. When the two groups have a meaningful and productive relationship, everyone feels safer, crime can decrease and the police department’s extraordinarily difficult job gets a little easier.

Kudos to the school and students for hosting this event, and extra kudos to Dunne, who paid $1 for every student who couldn’t afford it to be able to attend the event. That takes an extra dose of dedication and sacrifice, but we’re sure it was worth it for those students.