LAPD hosts event to improve relationship with community members

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- The Los Angeles Police Department hosted the 15th annual baseball Swing-A-Thon to facilitate friendly community and police interaction.

"We patrol the streets, but we have families too, and we realize that collaboration between the communities is very important," LAPD officer Michael Scott said.

Civil rights attorney Connie Rice said that events like these are crucial to improving relationships between police and community members.

"It's about the bonding opportunities. It's not about the event itself. It's about the fact that you're creating trust," Rice said.

Rice helped the LAPD launch the Community Safety Partnership Program (CSP) in Watts.

"They're not there to make arrests. They don't make arrests for small drug stuff. They don't make arrests for anything but violence, and they don't consider an arrest the basis for a promotion," Rice said.

Officer Aaron Thompson serves on the CSP and firmly believes in the mission.

"Our mission was to go into these communities, be there for the children and the adults, come together as a partnership to make that community a lot safer," Thompson said.

In the wake of the Dallas tragedy, Thompson hopes to keep seeing improvements through community policing.

"Once officers and the community come together more, have a dialogue. Man, the sky is the limit," Thompson said.
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