NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — When school is out for the summer there will be a safe place for kids to go in New Haven.
Assistant police chief Achilles Generoso with the New Haven Police Department said, “It’s extremely important to build a relationship with police officers and young children that they can carry through the rest of their lives.”
The New Haven Police department’s PAL Camp welcomes kids from ages eight to thirteen. The camp is held at Wilbur Cross High School. It’s a way to get kids off the streets, and participating in activities with mentors. Kids can participate in everything from basketball to fishing.
Assistant chief Generoso said it’s all about building a comfort level between kids and police officers.
They feel more comfortable going up to a police officer after dealing with police at the camp, because they get to know that police are just like they are.”
The kids get to know local police officers who play a very large role in their future. “There are whole neighborhoods that are traumatized by gun violence at a very young age,” added assistant chief Generoso.
More gun violence happened in the city over the weekend. Two men in their 20’s were shot on Dickerman Street. 28-year-old Norman Boone was pronounced dead. Police say the second victim is in serious condition. New Haven police officers are keeping a high presence in the area, canvassing the neighborhood and talking to residents.
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Sergeant Albert Mcfadden Jr. said, “We try to lead by example. We try to create that relationship that they know that if they need someone to talk to we are here. and that’s not just police issues, personal issues that they may need help.”
Police told News 8 the key is to put kids on the right path early in life. Sergeant Mcfadden Jr. added, “It’s a developmental stage in their lives where they could be influenced easily. So if we could just put positive people in front of them and positive messages it should help.”