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Program to help bridge gap between youth, police

Free 'Honor the Line' event is Feb. 21 at Triumph Church in Detroit

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Detroit – The B.A.L.L. Foundation (Bridging Athletic, Learning and Life-Skills) is partnering with the Detroit Police Department (DPD) and WDIV-TV Local 4 to host Bridging the Gap between Young Men and Law Enforcement.

The event, called Honor The Line,  is designed to teach young people how to better interact with police. It takes place Saturday, February 21, from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. at Triumph Church, East Campus on 2241 E. Grand Boulevard in Detroit. Detroit Chief of Police James Craig will serve as the event's keynote speaker.

 The forum is for young men ages 12-17. It is the brainchild of B.A.L.L. Founder and CEO Randy Henry.

"I was talking (recently) with my wife and brother-in-law about how we can better help bridge this gap between law enforcement and young people," Henry said. "The goal is to start a dialogue between police officers, the DNR, which is now patrolling Belle Isle, and others in law enforcement with young people. They all come together in a situation in which they will be comfortable, no pressure, no stress, and talk about what their differences are."

In addition, attendees will also hear from a judge and prosecutor in a panel discussion to learn how proper communication skills and body language can make a difference when making court appearances.

Attorney Jeffrey Collins is one of the speakers at the forum. "It's been my experience that the first 60 seconds of an encounter between law enforcement and a young person can set the tone for the entire situation."

 Other speakers at the event include, Saul Green,  Senior Counsel, Law Firm of Miller Canfield, Harold Love,  Former Police Captain, Michigan State Police, Harlan Bivens, Co-Director, Better Detroit Youth Movement, Raymond "Ray" Scott, Former NBA player and coach, and Eric Henry, U.S. Army Reserve.

 "In wake of the tragedies that occurred last year with Mike Brown and Eric Garner, I wanted to do something to prevent similar situations from occurring in our city," said Henry. "As a former teacher, I truly believe in the power of education and want to use that power to teach our children how to properly handle situations involving law enforcement so that we can prevent youth from being incarcerated or losing their lives at the hands of police."

The event is free and parents are encouraged to attend with their children. Lunch will also be served.  For more information or to register, contact Randy Henry at (888) 988-2339 or 42rhenry@gmail.com.