Wednesday at Legends Park in the City of Niagara Falls, Mayor Robert Restaino joined Niagara County Sheriff Michael Filicetti, along with Victory Sports Global Outreach founder and Executive Director Doug Rifenburg, for the announcement of a partnership between law enforcement agencies and Victory Sports. The goal of the partnership is to outfit police cars with sports equipment allowing officers the opportunity to add another tool to their belt.
Victory Sports is a nonprofit that works to provide sports equipment for children who otherwise cannot afford the equipment or may be denied opportunity to participate in sports, due to the cost of the equipment. It provided approximately 85 duffle bags that include a football, basketball and soccer ball that are meant to be carried in police vehicles for police departments throughout Niagara County. The hope is that, as officers approach situations in their respective communities, they have the opportunity to use this sporting equipment to aide in building friendships and relationships with the youth.
Rifenburg said, “I believe that sports is a powerful tool that can be used to impact our community for good. Sports is a great way for people to meet and build relationships over a common interest.”
Duffle bags were distributed to the Niagara County Sheriff’s Office, along with law enforcement agencies from the City of Niagara Falls, Town of Niagara, Town of Lewiston, Village of Youngstown, Town of Somerset, Village of Middleport, City of Lockport and the City of North Tonawanda, as well as the New York State Police, New York State Parks Police and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.
“Community outreach is a significant part of what we do on a daily basis,” Filicetti said. “With help from Victory Sports, we are able to reach out to our kids and build relationships. This will be a great opportunity for all of our law enforcement agencies.”
Niagara Falls Police Department Superintendent John Faso said, “We know that having the opportunity to walk up to kids in the City of Niagara Falls and engaging with them in a positive way can make all the difference.”
Restaino said, “The City of Niagara Falls believes in our police department finding ways to engage the youth in our community. Having the opportunity through the generosity of Victory Sports to engage with youth in our community through sports helps to foster positive relationships with our police officers, creating a healthy relationship with law enforcement.”
To learn more about donating new or like-new equipment to Victory Sports, visit https://victorysports.org/give/.