The Miami Dolphins' never-ending quest to help promote community spirit and a positive relationship between youth and law enforcement took them last week to the Broward Sheriff's Office for a third consecutive year.
"It's really important that the Dolphins do this," Stills said. "It's three years now that we've been doing this and I just see the effect that it has on the community, on the kids and on myself and the officers. Just to spend this time, it's so valuable to these kids and to myself and to the officers just to be around and mentor.
"The message really is not to be afraid of the police. The police are here to serve. If you're not doing anything wrong, you don't have anything to worry about, to thank them for their service when you see them, wave, shake hands, introduce yourself and try to have a relationship with them outside of just talking to them when you're in trouble."
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. The players also rode along with police officers.
"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," 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."
BSO Captain Audrey Jones appreciates the support provided by the Dolphins and the impact it can have.
Photo gallery: Football Unites Community Building And Ride Along With Broward Sheriff's Office
"There's a lot of good that can come out of the players coming out," she said. "It shows the youth that the Dolphins and the BSO are united. It 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.
"It's commendable of (the Dolphins) to show that they are, in fact, hearing about the community and what goes on within the community. They are here to try to build a bridge with us based upon the time and era that we're in now. Building bridges is important. It's a different era and a different time, but I'm hoping that with the Dolphins coming out with us, it's going to promote a trusting relationship, some understanding within the community between us and the community and possibly there's some mentorship that could come out of this."