GREENVILLE, Pitt County — Police officers spent time Thursday playing cornhole, Connect Four and other games with teenagers on Thursday as part of an effort to develop a relationship of trust between youth and law enforcement.
The effort is called GAME P.L.A.Y., which started thanks in part to East Carolina University English professor Gera Miles, is an effort to get teens to see the humanity behind the badge.
"Let's talk about what's going on in our community so we can take away some of that aggression and that fear especially with youth and have them talk with one another and hopefully come to an understanding and make the community better," Miles said.
He believes events like these increase the comfort level between area teens and police officers. It's not just so officers can talk to the teens, he said, but also listen.
Officers from a variety of different departments took part in Thursday's event in Greenville.