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Curbing crime with basketball

CINCINNATI (Angela Ingram) -- A game of hoops with the police chief is a rarity for most kids.

Soon, boys and girls will have a chance to join the police department's, "Hoops. Hearts. Hope." program.

Chief Jeffrey Blackwell said, "It's a learning, character based program where we use a basketball as the hook really.  It's the common language in many urban cities throughout the country."

Chief Blackwell started a similar program when he worked in Columbus.  The city saw a drop in gang-related crime.  He says the Cincinnati model is a broader version.

"It's sustainable and it has a lot of meaning to it for the character, integrity, and leadership ingredients that we're infusing into the program," Blackwell said.

"If you have a child that's hanging outside and there's nothing for them to do, they're going to get into mischief all the time so coming inside of this building and some organized, organization skills and programs here.  I think it works out tremendously for them."

For ten weeks children like Xander Wynn can sharpen their hoop skills while interacting with positive mentors.  The Chief says the sooner you can reach young children the less likely they are to take the wrong path.

"We want young people to understand that we're human beings just like them, that we care about them and that we're here for a far deeper purpose than just to take people to jail and enforce laws," Blackwell said.

Friday is the last day to register your child in the program.  CLICK HERE for the application and more information.

Watch video HERE
 

 

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