The L.A. Lee YMCA Family Center hosted a Community Fish Fry as part of the “bridge the gap” movement designed to engage the residents of Sistrunk and Fort Lauderdale with Fort Lauderdale Police Officers. The event, sponsored by the City of Fort Lauderdale Police Department, gave both groups an opportunity to interact and talk with each other, building a positive relationship.
The bridge the gap events are helping ease tensions and fears as residents get to know the police officers and the officers get to know the people who live and work in the community. As a result, relations are better and there are many positive outcomes like:
- One of the local youth who attends the Community Fish Fry every time stopped another teen from breaking into a car because he knew the police officer who patrolled that area.
- An officer from the fish fry recognized one of our community preteens who was engaged in a fight, stopped the fight, talked to them and drove them home. Those two young men are still friends today.
- One of our seniors introduced herself to a rookie officer who patrols her street. While talking, she expressed concern and fear over having transients sitting in front of her home. So much so, that she was fearful of coming outside sometimes because of it. That officer made it his mission to stop by at least twice a week, which led to the transients leaving and not returning.
For the people in the community, stories like these make all the difference. It fosters trust and builds better relationships, while helping local law enforcement connect with the community and do their jobs better.
The Y is connecting and bringing people together to make a positive impact on our community.