MIAMI – As part of the Miami Dolphins Football Unites program, Miami Dolphins players Leonte Carroo, Connor Hilland, Jamiyus Pittman, Quentin Poling and Kenny Stills spent their day off with the Broward Sherriff's Office (BSO) to discuss community policing and take part in youth engagement activities. This marked the third consecutive ride along for the Miami Dolphins in an effort to show a unified front in Broward County between Dolphins players and law enforcement.
The players started the afternoon with a visit to the BSO Deerfield Police Athletic League (PAL). The group also attended a BSO roll call and addressed a local youth football team together.
"Spending time with the kids and trying to help foster relationships between law enforcement, the community and ourselves, it's really important that the Dolphins do this," Miami Dolphins Wide Receiver Kenny Stills said. "It's been three years now and I just see the effect that it has on the community, on the kids, on myself and all the officers just to spend this time and Its so valuable just to be around and mentor. The message is not to be afraid of the police; the police are here to serve. Thank them for their service when you see them, wave, shake hands, introduce yourself and try to have a relationship with them outside of when you're just talking to them when you're in trouble. I didn't have any experiences of NFL guys coming to my practice when I was younger. I think that is part of the reason why it's so important that we are out here."
"It shows the youth optimism that the Miami Dolphins along with the Broward Sheriff's Office are united. It strengthens and provides trust because the young people look up to the players and when they see us together it kind of eases their mind in order for them to be open to us and come to us with whatever problems they have," Captain of the Broward Sheriff's Office Audrey Jones added. "With the Dolphins putting in the effort, it's commendable of them to show that they are in fact caring about the community and what goes on within the community and they are here to try to build a bridge with us."
"Meeting with police officers and just helping kids understand we are a team, the whole area, the Miami Dolphins, the Broward Sheriff's county, everyone has to work as a team in the community to make things as good as they can be here," Miami Dolphins Linebacker Quentin Poling said. "With the platform that athletes have, it's a good way to show others to look at people in a positive light don't look at the police officer and think negatively towards them. Especially with how things are portrayed in the media today it's easy to have a negative connotation, just approach people with respect and authority and help kids realize that police officers are here to help you at the end of the day. If they can grow up and have that kind of perspective on things maybe it will help them in situation later in their life and avoid a bad conflict."