Golf outing helps bridge gap between police and community - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Golf outing helps bridge gap between police and community

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - The Jonesboro Police Department teed off with the AAMEN organization Saturday to inspire local youth. 

AAMEN, or At-Risk American Male Educational Network, mentors young men ages 15 to 18. 

The organization's mission is to develop character, discover potential and inspire world vision in marginalized young men.

The organization carried out that mission at Saturday's golf tournament. 

"A lot of them have never picked up a golf club," said Bryan Bogan, an AAMEN mentor. "A lot of people when they think of sports they think of basketball, football so this is something to help them branch out, help them see something new."

"I was kind of nervous because I've never played golf before," said Johnathan Johninson, AAMEN's president. "This was the first time I had an opportunity to hit a little bit. It's definitely been a great experience. You definitely need patience and I believe golf will teach me that. It's definitely something I will end up picking up."

However, Johninson said the event was about more than learning a new game. 

"There are some officers that actually care about their job and are trying to help people," Johninson said. "They actually have a heart and want to connect with the community."

Jonesboro officers said they came out to the green Saturday to prove that.

"It's hard to hate somebody that you get to know," said Lt. Todd Nelson, who works in the department's Quality of Life Unit. "That's the first part of the process. We're just trying to get to know each other. Spending time together where it's not work related."

The AAMEN organization wanted its young men to team up with local police officers to introduce more positive role models in their lives. 

"They get to see that they're actually just like us," Bogan said. "They don't have to be scared of them. They actually have someone to look up to outside of their parents, outside of their mentors. There are people in the community who are here to help them."

They all agreed the recent cases of police brutality against minorities across the country has created a sense of fear but they want to change that conversation.

"There's a lot that we're not seeing and what we're not seeing is that community relationship," Nelson said. "It's going on. It's happening."

"Just listening to these officers speak, I can see there is another side of this whole situation," Johninson said. "It's not always just African Americans looking at them as the enemy."

That's the message AAMEN hopes its boys can share with others. 

"Take this back to their little brothers, their big brothers, their cousins and let them know police are not just the bad guys," Bogan said. "They're not just there to give you tickets and pull you over. They're there to police. They're here to help and we need them in our community."

Copyright 2015 KAIT. All rights reserved.

  • Region 8 News</span><a class="customMoreLink" href="/Global/category.asp?C=4391" target="_top">More >></a>Region 8 NewsMore>>

  • breaking

    2 officers shot, suspect in custody after standoff in Poplar Bluff, MO

    2 officers shot, suspect in custody after standoff in Poplar Bluff, MO

    Thursday, July 19 2018 4:54 PM EDT2018-07-19 20:54:19 GMT
    James Odell Johnson Jr. was arrested after police say he shot 2 officers (Source: Poplar Bluff Police Department)James Odell Johnson Jr. was arrested after police say he shot 2 officers (Source: Poplar Bluff Police Department)

    What started as a warrant arrest turned into a shooting where an officer was injured on Thursday, July 19 in Poplar Bluff, Missouri.

    What started as a warrant arrest turned into a shooting where an officer was injured on Thursday, July 19 in Poplar Bluff, Missouri.

  • breaking

    Sheriff's dept. searches for 3 people connected to shooting

    Sheriff's dept. searches for 3 people connected to shooting

    Monday, July 16 2018 10:54 PM EDT2018-07-17 02:54:47 GMT
    Thursday, July 19 2018 3:07 PM EDT2018-07-19 19:07:11 GMT
    Joseph Bramblett and Michelle Bramblett (Source: Independence County Sheriff's Dept./Facebook)Joseph Bramblett and Michelle Bramblett (Source: Independence County Sheriff's Dept./Facebook)

    A shooting Monday night sent one man to the hospital and Independence County sheriff's deputies on the hunt for three people.

    A shooting Monday night sent one man to the hospital and Independence County sheriff's deputies on the hunt for three people.

  • 'Spontaneous combustion of tortilla chips' blamed for 2 fires at TX factory

    'Spontaneous combustion of tortilla chips' blamed for 2 fires at TX factory

    Thursday, July 19 2018 9:24 AM EDT2018-07-19 13:24:02 GMT
    Thursday, July 19 2018 9:53 AM EDT2018-07-19 13:53:22 GMT
    A fire department blames tortilla chips for causing not one, but two fires at a Texas factory where they are made. (Source: Austin Fire Dept. via Facebook)A fire department blames tortilla chips for causing not one, but two fires at a Texas factory where they are made. (Source: Austin Fire Dept. via Facebook)

    A fire department blames tortilla chips for causing not one, but two fires at a Texas factory where they are made.

    A fire department blames tortilla chips for causing not one, but two fires at a Texas factory where they are made.

Powered by Frankly