URBANDALE, Iowa — North High School standout guard Tyreke Locure has never played three-on-three with the 5-0 before, but says he won’t take it easy on them because of their badge.
“I’m not gonna take it easy because I love to win.”
Locure and about 200 other metro students faced off against 30 law enforcement officers in the first annual Cops and Kids 3-on-3 tournament on Saturday. No brackets were busted during this tournament, but it was a time to strengthen community relationships. The game had a little focus on winning, but it helped give players and officers a chance to get acquainted.
“It kind of shows a different side of us. We’re not all these stiff guys that run around in uniform,” says 28-year-old Iowa Department of Transportation veteran Captain Robert Johnson.
The event serves as a timely reminder that it’s never to late build community relationships. A week ago, police in Sacramento gunned down an unarmed African American man believed to be breaking into property and carrying a gun. Police later discovered the suspected gun was actually a cell phone.
Urban Dreams, an non-profit organization that aims to strengthen police and community relationships, hosted the first time tournament. Its director, Izaah Knox, is working to prevent something like that from happening in Iowa.
“We are always working on being proactive and getting people together, working on solutions to issues instead of having people who are defensive and not working together proactively,” he says.
Urban Dreams normally includes only the Des Moines Police Department in its activities, but says it plans on expanding its reach to other metro law enforcement agencies on a more regular basis to better serve the community.