The three Dolphins players again showed their involvement Monday when they took part in a ride-along with the Broward Sheriff’s Office to show their support for police and interact with children.
“It’s very exciting,” Jenkins said. “It was great to see what was planned, what was written down, actually coming to full effect and to see the response. Everyone loved it. Everyone really enjoyed themselves today. We got a chance to meet a lot of police officers. We got a chance to meet a lot of kids and make a lot of kids smile. So it was important to get this done.”
The Dolphins and members of BSO passed out football trading cards sponsored by Panini America and discussed community policing at BSO’s roll call after making a few stops in Broward County.
The idea for this collaboration was borne from a town hall meeting in September with RISE, community leaders, law enforcement and youth coaches.
“It’s incredible to be able to work with RISE and see what we’ve done from then until now and be able to bring this together with BSO and see the impact that we can make on the community,” Stills said. “It’s made a big difference, the fact that Mr. Ross has supported us in what we’re doing. It shows with the town hall meeting, with the tailgate that we’re doing every week at the stadium. We’re very appreciative of him and this wouldn’t all be happening without him.”
Jenkins said the highlight was seeing how the kids reacted to being around the players and police officers.
“They really, really enjoyed themselves,” Jenkins said. “They were all surprised to see us and surprised to see the trading cards and all that. But I think the fact that they were able to kind of relax around the police officers and see that they’re people just like anybody else. We were able to bridge that gap and that’s really what we wanted to do is show that we can reach out and be in harmony in the communities and it’ll be a better situation for everyone.”
For members of the BSO, having Dolphins players with them while they interact with children always is a bonus.
“When you talk about a professional athlete, an NFL player, they come with a credibility in the community,” said Broward Sheriff Scott Israel. “There’s no way you could replicate that. For us to partner with the Miami Dolphins, especially in light of the season they’re having and there’s a really good chance (they) get into the playoffs, it’s just great and kids will listen.
“When they see us together, it sends us a partnership. We’re with the community. The community is with us, especially in light of everything that’s gone on in America over the past year. We haven’t had these types of incidents thankfully in Broward County. You have to put these things in place before they happen. So you build this trust up with the community and that’s what we’re doing right now.”
For Jenkins, Stills and Thomas, the next step would be for other teams to follow what the Dolphins have done this season in terms of trying to better community relations at every level.
“It’s great to have somebody of that status, that power, who still cares about community relations like that,” Thomas said of Ross. “It means the world to us to have something that we’re that passionate about and he’s just as passionate about trying to make that real change. I mean, it’s great. I wish more people were like that, more owners were like that, but it has to start somewhere. He’s taken great strides to try to make real change and I’m just glad to be a part of it.
“It’s great because it shows people, OK, we’re not just protesting because of something we feel. No, we’re trying to take action to actually bring about that real change as well. It’s not just all talk, We’re trying to walk the walk as well. We’re just going to try to keep continuing to take action and do whatever we can to try to make real change.
“I just hope that what we’re doing, the strides that we’re making in our community and the relationships we’re creating, I just hope other teams, other organizations, they see what we’re doing and they try to implement it in their own cities as well.”