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Bridgeport Police Hold National Night Out

From a press release

National Night Out is an event meant to increase awareness about police programs in communities, such as drug prevention, town watch, neighborhood watch, and other anti-crime efforts.

On August 16, the  Bridgeport Borough Police Department held its National Night Out event in partnership with the Race for Peace Committee. This was the fourth time Bridgeport Police Department and the Race for Peace Committee have partnered up for the annual national night out event. About 100 people attended the Night Out from 6-9 p.m. outside Bridgeport Borough Hall.

Snacks, bounce houses, police cars, fire trucks, helicopters, K9, and SWAT demonstrations, music, and business table setups were all provided for the event.

Race for Peace activist Alim Howell said the event brings the community and police together, which is greatly needed these days.

“Events like National Night Out everywhere bring some hope and display a positive setting with police and people of the communities who are not in law enforcement. Events like this can be a strategy towards open communication to help decrease the crime and violence crisis that we are all witnessing,” he said.

(From left) Bridgeport Chief of Police Todd Bereda, Race for Peace Committee Founder Andrew Howell, Borough of Bridgeport Council President Kyle Shenk.

The Bridgeport Borough Police Department’s mission statement reads, in part, “The members of the Bridgeport Police Department are committed to improve the quality of life by providing the highest level of professional police service to the residents and citizens of Bridgeport. We commit ourselves to the highest moral and ethical standards.

“We maintain the public trust through the performance of our duty without favor or prejudice. We maintain a well-trained, disciplined, and innovative workforce dedicated to continuous improvement. We, the members of the Bridgeport Police, are respectful to our fellow citizens. We are sensitive to the thoughts and needs of everyone. We show compassion and understanding. We treat people with dignity and respect in a manner that we would want to be treated. We value the diversity of our community by providing timely, impartial, and courteous service to all.”

The Race for Peace Committee has been established since 2016. The organization has formed many relationships with local police departments in addition to political offices in the area, including Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery Counties, and the City of Philadelphia. Their main goal is to try and promote peace in our communities, bridging the negative gap between police officers and citizens from all cultural backgrounds.

The mission of Race for Peace is to revitalize the community through enrichment and outreach programs in every community and to maintain a collective voice and sharing of ideas creating an atmosphere of peace that encourages good citizenship.

“We are again this year partnered with the Bridgeport Borough Police Department. We love that this is our fourth collaboration with the Borough of Bridgeport. It is always a good atmosphere for all people to come together for a fun night,” said RFPC Founder Andrew Howell.

Officer Trevor Knechel shakes hands with a boy.

Bridgeport Police Chief Todd Bereda said, “Working as the chief of Bridgeport PD, it has been an honor to partner up with Race for Peace throughout the years. The organization brings great community value and positivity with our local law enforcement officers”

Bridgeport Mayor Beth Jacksier was among the many elected officials who attended the event.

“Our National Night Out brings an annual opportunity between community and police officers! A lot of diversity and all age groups attend the event, Residents are getting to know the police officers better to break down barriers. We try to take it a step up every year and make sure everyone has a great time. Race for Peace has a great mission, and the Borough of Bridgeport is happy to have them on board,” she said.

And Bridgeport Borough Council Vice President Tony Heyl said, “We are very proud of the work our police department is doing with our Bridgeport citizens. The event brings togetherness, and a lot of diversity stems from our night outs too.”

Bridgeport Borough Councilman At-Large Saba Al Zaid called it “a fantastic event.”

In February of this year, the Race for Peace Committee gave Bridgeport Borough Juvenile Officer Shannon Sell an award for recognition of active participation and support for the police force while also demonstrating peace and humanity for all Bridgeport community members.

“I’m proud my office participates in the Borough of Bridgeport National Night Out. This event brings the community members together and shows outstanding leadership. It is nice to see constituents of the District take the time to attend the night out every year,” said state Sen. Amanda Cappelletti (D-Montgomery/Delaware).

Follow Bridgeport Police and Race for Peace on social media: @BridgeportBoroughPD, @RFPCSocialMedia.



Race for Peace, Haverford Police to Hold Annual ‘Skate for Peace’

Race for Peace and the Haverford Police are holding their 4th annual Ice Skate for Peace on July 19.

Race for Peace is a nonprofit group that seeks to promote better relations between police and African Americans. It is just one of several events that Race for Peace holds during the year to bring police and Black people together to foster friendship and understanding.

“Race for Peace Organization brings communities together through programs, resources, and activities for the family, and to reach an understanding between law enforcement and the communities they serve,” said Alim Howell, an activist, advocate, and spokesperson for the group. Howell and his father, Andrew Howell, of Delaware County, started the organization in 2016.

“All of the Race for Peace events bring together diversity and unity within the community. In addition to bringing a positive engagement with our police officers. Having youth alongside Police in a positive manner is very great to see,” said Howell.

Haverford Police Lt. James Kelly said the department has been working with Race for Peace for about 10 years to try to foster better relations with the community. And various other departments in the area, including Lower Merion, Philadelphia, Radnor, and Tredyffrin are also involved.

The Skate for Peace event allows people, especially youngsters, to meet police officers in a friendly environment and talk and get to know each other, he said. Haverford Township owns the indoor ice rink and donated the time to Race for Peace.

As a bonus, the Philadelphia Flyers will be hosting a simultaneous event in the parking lot, with some players, food, fun, and its mascot, Gritty.

“It’s helpful,” said Kelly, about the connections with the community fostered by Race for Peace. “The world has a lot of problems right now. To solve them, it always starts somewhere. It starts with one person at a time, as Race for Peace founder, Andrew Howell, says.”

Race for Peace President Hameen Diggins said, “Our young people are awesome! Having the youth show up to our past events was an honor. We want to see greatness from them to create better connections with the new generations.”

Rental skates will be available for those who don’t have skates and also both human and mechanical ice skate helpers will be on the ice for those who do not know how to skate.

About 10 Haverford officers and command usually staff attend, as well as police from other area departments, Diggins said.

The event runs from 5 to 7 p.m. on July 19 at the Havertown Skatuim, 1002 Darby Road #3616, Havertown. Everyone is invited to attend.

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