ALAMEDA -- The Alameda Police Department is casting a wider net to build trust among the youngest members of the community with an innovative program.
Police officers know strong relationships of mutual trust between cops and the community they serve are critical. It is the core of maintaining public safety and effective policing.
It's one of the reasons why they have a Community Resource Unit, which has launched a program called Casting with Cops. It's an initiative where 6- to 15-year-olds spend time out on San Francisco Bay fishing, learning about water safety, and just building relationships with police officers.
"This is my first time fishing in Alameda," said 10-year-old Leo Khazri. "It takes a while to catch fish."
"It's just been a really great platform to spend good quality time with kids," said Alameda Police Capt. Matthew McMullen. "They get to experience something new with a police officer that's not in that immediacy of the chaos."
Leo and his father told KPIX 5 they're incredibly grateful for Alameda officers spending their day with them.
"It's super fun. I think it's a great way for Alameda to have people out on boats with kids and teaching them how to fish and stuff like that," said Leo.
McMullen says when people are in trouble, he wants to make sure they're the ones that people trust.
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