PORTLAND, Ore. -- A group of local kids and police officers are doing their part to break down barriers at a time when racial tensions are high.
"We just want to build trust and relationships and have conversations with the kids and police," said Sam Sachs of The No Hate Zone.
A dozen police officers and 22 kids from the Blazers Boys and Girls Club watched Friday night's preseason game from a suite at the Moda Center. It was an attempt to fix what is described as a fractured relationship between law enforcement and communities of color. Kids and officers alike seemed to appreciate the event.
"I enjoy being able to inspire kids to want to grow up and fulfill their future," said Portland Police Officer Brianne Paisley.
"They protect us and I'm glad they're here," one little girl said of the police officers.
This event was not the first of its kind. Last week, a restaurant in Northeast Portland hosted some police officers and people of color. It was an opportunity for both groups to break down barriers and build trust.
"Anytime we can see them as humans and not police officers and they can see us in another light there is always hope," said Michael Smith.
Back at the Moda Center, everyone in the suite was pulling for the Blazers to win, but the real winners may just be the kids and the men and women in blue.