The CNY Family Bicycle Giveaway Charity is rolling out an effort this summer to bring police officers and community members closer together. Our Corina Cappabianca spoke with program coordinators and local law enforcement to see what they're gearing up for.
ONONDAGA COUNTY, N.Y. –- It may look like just a bike, but to some it can mean much more.
"What better way to give back to the community than to be able to give these back to people who need them if we can't find their rightful owner," Manlius Police Sgt. Jeffrey Slater said.
The Manlius Police Department is just one agency teaming up with the CNY Family Bicycle Giveaway Charity. They're donating bikes they've found for a "Law Enforcement Community Immersion Program."
"This is a police officer oriented program to get the public together and let them share the knowledge of one another, which we feel will produce a safer community for both police officers and the communities they serve," charity coordinator Jan Maloff said.
The non-profit has collected several hundred bikes for its event at the Onondaga County Convention Center on July 16th at 9 a.m.
They'll be giving bike vouchers to different police departments in the area.
Officers will hand out the bikes.
"A lot of times people have certain circumstances where they don't have the ability to obtain a bicycle for whatever reasons, to be able to have that positive interaction with the community and provide them with something that they've wanted is great," Slater said.
At a time when tensions between law enforcement and communities can run high, Maloff says a program like this can build bonds.
"Our police officers in our community see some very horrific things and they want to help and this is a way they can reach out to people maybe some youth that they can turn around before things in their life get worse," said Maloff.
He says it's all about making communities safer, and the opportunity to change course.
Maloff says they are still in need of donations and volunteers to help fix the bikes that they have.
You can visit their website for more information or call (315) 446-7570.
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