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HOUSTON – Two years ago a police officer shot and killed Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., setting off local demonstrations and a renewed national dialogue about race, criminal justice and the frayed bonds between law enforcement officers and the communities they serve. Unfortunately the controversies are nowhere near settled as police shootings of African-Americans and others continue in a disturbing pattern.

But efforts in communities around the country to bridge the gaps between police officers and residents also continue, as exemplified by the third annual “Building Bridges Between Law Enforcement & Youth” sports tournament organized, sponsored and led by Harris County Precinct 1 Constable Alan Rosen. It will start at 9 a.m. Saturday, July 30, at Sam Houston High School, 9400 Irvington Blvd. in Houston.

“It starts with our the future of our community, our young people, meeting in a relaxed and fun environment, with the diverse men and women in the Precinct 1 uniform whose dedication to public safety and heart-felt obligation as public servants knows no limits,” Constable Rosen said. “I hope people of all ages will take advantage of this amazing opportunity, and this year’s version will include an expanded list of services for all ages.”

In addition to the soccer matches and 3-on-3 basketball games, a rainbow of health services and information will be available free at the event. The no-cost offerings include child immunizations, vision screening for kids and school supplies. For people of all ages, they include dental exams, mammograms, employment assistant, family assistance and barber college scholarships.

“The 2015 event drew hundreds of young basketball and soccer players, and their youthful enthusiasm was plain to see, along with their willingness to engage in a safe community activity with law enforcement,” Constable Rosen said. “But this year we are going beyond that success by serving adults as well in a much bigger way.”

The tournament and services will also feature a guest appearance by Houston-based rapper Paul Wall.

Precinct 1’s Teen Summit with law enforcement will also continue later this year as an annual event.

Building Bridges“In a diverse and growing city and county, we stand at a crossroads,” according to Constable Rosen. “I’m going to continue to do my best to ensure that current and future generations of law-abiding young people can have the best possible relationship with peace-keepers, starting with building familiarity in situations where there is no emergency, no threat, no complaint. That way we will make a lasting contribution to well-being in the Houston area.”

Sponsors and service-providers at the July 30th event include: Houston Area Women’s Center, Target, African-American News&Issues, The Rose, Central Integrated Health Service, Workforce Solutions, SER Community for Employment, Houston Community College, ITT Tech Institute, Shipley Do-Nuts and the PCHAS Single Parent Family Program. Information will be distributed on-site by Bee Busy Wellness, Legacy Community Health, It’z Family & Fun, World Youth Foundation and My Brother’s Keeper.

“Building Bridges Between Law Enforcement & Youth” starts at 9 a.m. and ends around 2 p.m. on July 30.

The free basketball tournament is open to teams in these age brackets: 7-11, 12-15 and 16-17.

For more information and/or a registration packet, contact Precinct 1 community outreach coordinator Erica Davis at 713-755-3372 or Erica.davis@cn1.hctx.net

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