MIAMI – The Big Brothers Big Sisters program, a non-profit organization that was designed to bridge the gap between police and communities of color, took a major step forward on Wednesday.
Local 10 News Reporter Trent Kelly showed viewers how the Bigs in Blue program is improving community relations between law enforcement and kids.
The program launched by Big Brothers Big Sisters of Miami aims to improve understanding between kids and officers by connecting them through mentoring.
While the program known as Bigs in Blue has been around for years, Wednesday’s announcement of a new partnership serves to expand those relationships for years to come.
Executives with Big Brothers Big Sisters signed a contract at their Miami headquarters to begin partnering with a new non-profit called Dedication to Community, “a national non-profit that educates and empowers communities through skill-building workshops to improve understanding and foster relationships.”
As part of that partnership the kids, or “littles” as they’re called and their law enforcement mentors, aka Bigs in Blue will participate in specialized trainings and workshops that aim to foster more understanding and improve community relationships.
Event organizers say their main goal is to show kids that they can look at officers more as friends rather than adversaries, a message taking on even more importance following recent events.
“It’s so vitally important, especially in today’s time to be able to be placed in an environment where we can engage positively and be able to mentor these kids,” said City of Miami Maj. Albert Guerra. “I can’t say enough how beneficial it is to people, especially our youth.”
Gale Nelson, President and CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Miami, told Local 10 News reporter Trent Kelly that these partnerships will help build a strong relationship between both law enforcement and kids.
“Today’s additional partnership will allow families, our communities, our littles to take part in relationship building trainings,” Nelson said. “We already have the matches, the bigs and the littles, but now we can add that layer of intentional, real and raw workshops.”
In addition to the City of Miami police, the Miami-Dade Police Department, Miami Heat and the Miami Dolphins are participating as well.
Out of the 3,000 kids that are served by Big Brothers Big Sisters, roughly 200 take part in the Bigs in Blue program, a number they hope to continue to grow.