Submitted by the Niagara County Sheriff’s Office
On Monday, Sheriff Michael Filicetti announced the culmination of the week-long “Building Bridges” program. This partnership between the Niagara County Sheriff’s Office and the Niagara Falls Police Department was created in an effort to have youth and law enforcement officers interact in a positive environment.
Officers from both agencies accompany the youth on numerous recreational activities throughout the week. This year’s events included a competitive game of Putt-Putt, fishing at Bond Lake with our friends from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, ice skating at Niagara University, bowling at Rapids Lanes, to name a few.
These events take place throughout the Niagara Falls area and host up to 20 children aged 8 to 12 years old. The program allows participants to see uniformed personnel in a different manner – as people with similar interests and not simply armed officers. Interacting with at-risk youths in a social setting allows law enforcement to develop genuine, strong relationships built on trust and understanding.
Filicetti said, “I am so proud of this partnership with the Niagara Falls Police Department. It is wonderful to have the opportunity to foster these relationships with the kids.”