Shop With Cops, an organization created to foster positive relationships between youth and officers, presented these items on Wednesday, April 20, 6:00p.m., at High School for Recording Arts, 1166 University Avenue West, St. Paul, Minnesota 55116. Over 100 young people, parents, and community members gathered to witness the 44 basketball players receive their gifts and enjoy pizza at the event.
Assistant Chief Todd Axtell, Senior Commander Paul Iovino, and Officer Tom Reis were a part of the group of approximately 10 St. Paul Police officers who were on hand to present the new shoes, water bottles, and basketballs to the basketball players. Jeff Gardner represented Shop With Cops at the event. Also present were representatives of High School for Recording Arts which has been a community leader in fostering better relations between the police and their students through student-driven projects that examine those relationships with the idea of bettering communications and understanding of each other.
The 44 basketball players are a part of the organization Grassroots Hoops Club, the region’s premier community-based basketball league. Grassroots Hoops Club is relocating their entire operation to a new state-of-the-art athletic, academic, and performance facility, entitled Jump City, at High School for Recording Arts.
The University Avenue Wal-Mart in St. Paul also contributed to the event.