Community and police interact at American Airlines Center

The Dallas Mavericks, Project Unity and the National Association of Police Athletic Activities League held a free community event at the American Airlines Center.

Hundreds packed arena for a day of unity with the Dallas Police Department.

The event brought together police officers and residents from all over the city. Speakers and people attending the event today say it's just another step toward understanding.

“I think in the long run this actually brings us all together as a community,” said Dr. Brian Williams of Parkland Hospital.

Dr. Williams was in the ER at Parkland the night a gunman opened fire on police officers in Downtown Dallas.

He spoke out, days after the July 7th shootings, saying the killing needs to stop.

“People are challenged by this. This is not an easy thing to deal with, especially when you have injured police officers. They're part of our family as well.

Event organizers hope the day will help Dallas move forward and give people a chance to interact with officers.

Kim Curtis was one of the people in attendance, “I think it helps a lot, especially with the kids. I talk to my grandson quite a lot about conducting himself when he's out and about, not necessarily just with the police but in general.”

Kim Curtis and Lori Jackson brought their grandchildren to have some fun, but also as a learning experience.

“It's good for them to have a relationship, showing police officers are people too, they're not just someone walking around with a gun, not someone to fear. If you don't fear them, maybe you'll interact with them differently,” said Curtis.

Showing the people behind the badge is why Deputy Chief Christina Smith was there as well.

“I want everyone to know we are no different from everyone else,” she said, “This uniform is not who we are, it's what we do, and there is no difference between us and anyone else out there, and I want them to see us as human beings and as individuals, not as a uniform.”

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