SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Springfield police and local kids were working and playing hard on a hot Saturday afternoon.
Sgt. Devon Williams, Springfield Police Department said, “My job is to help the community. To help the kids to build a relationship with the community and the kids and I enjoy it.”
Brandon Cotton of Springfield said, “I’ve been playing soccer with them and they gave me really good passes.”
The 3rd annual Mason Square Initiative Community Family Day took place at Hennessy Park.
Selassei Walker of Springfield said, “It brings the community together because usually this park is empty and there’s nobody in here doing anything really.”
With Springfield police recruits leading the way, kids got the opportunity to play some games, toss the ball around, face paint, grab some food off the grill, and hang out and have a good time. It’s a lot of fun for the police officers and the kids, but more importantly it’s about interacting with the community because they are going to need each other’s help.
Commissioner John Barbieri, Springfield Police Department said, “This is absolutely the bread and butter of what we do. There is no public safety without the community, community is public safety. Active busy streets people that call the police when there’s a problem and point out issues in the neighborhoods. That’s what makes neighborhoods safe.”
Hampden County District Attorney Anthony Gulluni said his office is also working hard to make sure communication is open. He said, “The point is that we need the citizens to do our jobs and we want to be here for them and unlike some of what we’re seeing nationally here we’re really unified we’re working together.”
The event also offered other opportunities to Mason Square residents.
Venorise McCoy, Event Organizer said, “We have jobs here, we have health organizations, we have education and these are all things for this community that they need.”
John Williams of Springfield said, “I think this is a beautiful event and everybody comes together for the community, for the kids, and that’s what it’s about.”
Adrienne Osborn, Event Organizer said, “It’s just makes me feel so emotional you know to see that with all of the craziness that’s going on in our world today, we really needed this and I’m just so moved by it.