The Colorado Springs Police Department (CSPD) Community Relations Unit has developed a program called “PLAY COS,” which is aimed at creating more opportunities for positive interactions between officers and community members in Colorado Springs.
Program Description: Through donations, the idea is to supply each of CSPD’s patrol divisions with sports balls (i.e. footballs, soccer balls, basketballs) for officers to keep in their cruisers to give out to kids and teens during their shift. The program also involves sports/giveaway events in which officers interact with numerous young community members through sports and recreation. The overall goal is for this program to become a long-term, ongoing, sports program that will be a permanent fixture in CSPD’s department-wide community outreach efforts for years to come.
Why we are starting this program: The CSPD has always been intentional in its efforts to connect with community members. Often times officers would spend their own money to buy sports equipment for kids. While this still happens, PLAY COS is now a formalized program within the department.
Additionally, the CSPD is committed to strengthening the relationship with our community and consistently finding opportunities to connect with the people we serve. Having sports balls in police cars will allow for officers to have brief, but very positive interactions, with our community by simply giving away sports balls to kids/teens/families. It may also lead to the officer and community member even quickly playing catch before the officer goes to the next call.
Why we believe this is important: We at CSPD believe this will improve police/community relations because it allows our community to interact with officers in a more organic, simple, and fun way. Nothing criminal, nothing too serious, just officers and community members having a positive interaction.
PLAY COS has been up and running within the Community Relations Unit since January 2021 and they have already given away nearly 1,100 hundred balls to local kids and teens. They have also partnered with three local community centers, seven local schools, the Girl Scouts of Colorado, and ULPPR Summer Camp to put on 25 PLAY COS events.
This program has been made possible with financial and sports equipment donations from the following community partners:
- Blazer Electric
- Toys for Tots
- 8th Street Walmart
- Dick’s Sporting Goods
- Several Community Member Donors
If you would like to become involved in the program and/or make a donation: Please reach out to the CSPD Community Relations Unit at 719-444-7410 or via email at CSPDCommunityRelations@coloradosprings.gov .