ARLINGTON, Texas - Arlington police took community policing off the streets and into the world of gaming.
A new program introduced students to officers in a very unique setting, as fun and games came with a motivating factor.
"A new and innovative way to connect with Esports," Arlington ISD Superintendent Dr. Marcelo Cavazos said.
"We have to get out of our cars. We are not going to build a relationship driving by 30 miles per hour with our windows up," Arlington Police Chief Al Jones said.
Dozens of Arlington ISD students and Arlington police officers took part in a meet up at the city’s Esports complex, where the goal was to connect officers with students, like high school junior Hector Maya.
"To me, I don’t feel threatened by any of them. I see all of them as good people. They help all of us in every way," Maya said.
Officers also got to know 6th grader Destiny Wright and freshman Bryan Jaimes
"I definitely thought they are just police officers and they enforce the law, but I didn’t know they could have this much fun with younger people," Jaimes said.
There were colorful images and intense action, all with a purpose.
"I think it’s not about who wins and loses, because we all win because we are all here together. I think I have the officers and kids together that’s a win-win right there," Chief Jones said.
"We know our students interact all around the community and our community police officers interact all around the community, and we want this to build really on the foundation of trust," Dr. Cavazos added.
The chief and the superintendent joined the gaming ranks in a friendly match up to prove their point.
The school district and police department said they plan to hold other similar events so officers can continue to connect with their community.