IN 2017, a resident of Brampton had a basketball net stolen from their front yard. It was located in another area within the community and police were contacted to recover it. When police arrived, they saw several youth between the ages of 9 and 13 actively playing ball and enjoying the net.
Officers returned the basketball net to the rightful owner and also made sure to spend time speaking with the area residents, recognizing the value the net brought to the community. Officers decided that they could do something to bring basketball back to the area, so kids could be kids engaging in a healthy activity outside. Once their mission began, officers received overwhelming support from their co-workers and were able to raise enough money to purchase and deliver a basketball net to the community three days later. This net continues to be used today.
But why stop there? They wanted this movement to continue. They worked together to identify other residential areas that could also benefit with nets and they approached Canadian Tire who generously donated basketball nets to the communities. This is when Nets for Neighbourhoods took flight. This proactive initiative continues to identify needs within communities and provide recreational opportunities to those that may not have access to any.
While working with community partners, an underutilized tennis court was located in a Brampton community. Officers worked with property management and the court was repurposed into a functioning external basketball court.
On Friday, September 27, Deputy Chief Ingrid Berkeley-Brown, Superintendent Sean McKenna along with uniform officers, including the Peel Regional Police Basketball Team, were on hand to celebrate the official opening of the new basketball court. A fun pick-up game played between the Peel Regional Police basketball team and youth from the neighbourhood took place.
The power of community and police working together can overcome many obstacles, including crime.