Police officers and community members join together

HUNTING PARK - September 2, 2011

They are two groups who haven't always seen eye to eye but Friday they put aside their differences for a day of respect.

"A lot of people don't see what the police are doing and how hard their job is," said Andre Richardson of North Philadelphia.

And that's what the day was all about, learning more about one another and interacting.

The police held a canine demonstration for those who gathered, along with games, music, and dancing.

"It's great for the officers to interact especially with the young people. It gives them some confidence. If they have a problem they can approach a police officer," said Captain Frank Vanore.

These were similar sentiments felt all around.

"It shows a partnership, that we can collaborate and get things done. They know that we're here to support them and keep them safe. We're regular people, we can let loose and have a good time," said Officer Albert Cruz.

As with anything, there were some skeptics.

"I don't think they're doing that much for the community. There is so much happening and they're not doing anything. As police officers, they need to do more," said Felicia Jones.

However, for the most part festival-goers thought the day was a good start and many hoped the day would help bring a change to their neighborhood.

This was the fourth year for the festival. Previous years, the festival was held in the West Oak Lane section of the city.

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