All Stars Project of New Jersey Launches Operation Conversation: Cops & Kids

Published by Christina DiChiara

Founder of Operation Conversation: Cops & Kids, Dr. Lenora Fulani, Mayor Ras Baraka and Public Safety Director, Anthony Ambrose during the Q & A segment of the press conference.

On April 5, 2017, the All Stars Project of New Jersey and the City of Newark, held a press conference to announce the launch of Operation Conversation: Cops and Kids at the Scott Flamm Center for Afterschool Development. It was an exciting morning as police officers, foundations, community members, volunteers and news stations, including WABC, NJTV, WMBC TV, WBGO-FM, Associated Press, Luso-Americano, Newark Times, Fios 1 and Newark Cable Channel 78 filled the center, preparing to learn more about the launch of our award-winning program.

Cops & Kids is a police-community relations program that holds powerful workshops with teenagers and police officers, using performance, improvisation and conversation to help them develop and improve their relationship. Through these workshops the police and young people have the opportunity to play and laugh together, breaking down barriers and allowing both groups to see each other on a human level. The All Stars Project of New Jersey has already completed 7 Cops & Kids workshops throughout the city, impacting 167 officers and young people; by the end of 2017, the program will reach hundreds more!

Over 160 people attended the press conference to learn more about Cops & Kids and its profound impact throughout the city. Newark Mayor Ras Baraka and Public Safety Director, Anthony Ambrose spoke about their experiences with this program and the power of bringing police officers and young people into a room together. Mayor Ras Baraka stated: “Better relations with the community means safety for police officers, it means more arrests in our community, solving more crimes, it means a better climate for all of us in the city”. Ambrose reinforced the importance of this program, stating that all future police recruits will be part of the Cops & Kids program as part of their training. We thank Mayor Ras Baraka and Public Safety Director for their dedication and support to the success of this program!

Cops & Kids has already made an immense impact in the city of Newark, changing perceptions and fostering better relationships between police and young people. This is an exciting time for Newark, and the All Stars Project of New Jersey is proud to be on the front lines, building our communities and creating growth. #newplayfornewark #newarkforward