Sheriff Arteta announces first annual youth vs police basketball game

Goshen. The event will be hosted by Project Rise and Building Bridges Initiative.

Goshen /
| 21 Jun 2024 | 03:50

On Friday, June 28, from 3:30 to 6 p.m., Project Rise and Building Bridges will host their first annual police vs. youth basketball game. The police team will include Orange County Sheriff’s Deputies, Newburgh police officers and the Orange County DA’s Office, while the youth team will be from the Building Bridges program and the City of Newburgh YPI youth advocacy program.

The game will take place at 401 Washington St., Newburgh.

The event came about through series of six-day programs coordinated by the Youth Advocacy Program that focused primarily on bridging the gap between youth in our communities and the police to combat gun violence. The programs were part of a collaboration among the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, Project Rise and the Building Bridges Initiative.

The young adults in the programs were encouraged by the participating officers to speak up about the problems they see as contributing to gun violence in their community. “This program has been a humbling experience. I was able to sit at the table with the youth participants and hear directly from them what the community needs: the resources, the funding, where we, as law enforcement, need to focus and put more effort towards, and where we are excelling and should continue. If we don’t hear it from them, then we assume what our community and youths need. Change doesn’t begin with assumptions. It begins with facts, and the fact is that the younger generation is our future; they know better than all they need to make a change and live it daily.” Sheriff Paul Arteta said.

During the winter session of Building Bridges, the youth participants were tasked with developing a project or initiative that could help bridge the gap between the police and the community, specifically with our youth, while combating gun violence. A trending topic was a Police vs. Youth Basketball game that would bring the community and police together in a different light. Together, Project Rise, Building Bridges, and some additional organizations were able to fund this project and make the young adults’ vision a reality.

Isabel Rojas, founder of Building Bridges Initiative, said, “By shining a spotlight on Gun Violence Awareness Month, we aim to ignite a transformation dialogue within our community. Through meaningful conversations and proactive engagement, we strive to cultivate a culture of safety, compassion, and understanding. Let’s stand together against gun violence and build a stronger, more resilient community.”