COLORADO SPRINGS, CO — Last week the Colorado Springs Police Department was presented the IACP/Walmart Leadership in Community Policing Award for their Play COS program.
The award was presented to the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP). The IACP wanted to recognize the work that the Colorado Springs Police has done to promote promising practices that utilize effective and long-lasting partnerships to make local, national, and international communities safer.
The idea behind the Play COS program was a simple decision on improving police and community relations. Play COS does this by bringing officers and community members together in a fun and organic ways to create positive interactions.
Play COS primarily focuses on the sports medium as a way to cross-cultural, racial, social, and ethnic boundaries between community members and officers.
Play COS began in January of 2021 and since then has been to work. In that time CSPD officers have given away over 3,100 balls to local kids and teens. 64 Play COS events have been put on and donations have been made to 3 community centers and 13 local schools across Colorado Springs.
CSPD estimates that Play COS has created around 14,000 positive police and community member interactions. CSPD has not been idle in sharing this program as they have helped eight other local police departments, and close to two dozen worldwide agencies establish similar programs.
“Everyone at the CSPD is proud to be honored with this award. With that said, Play COS is not just a CSPD program. This is a community program that we have the privilege of running. Play COS would not have been possible without generous donations from large corporations, small local businesses, and individual community members who all want to make our community a better place. We are all incredibly thankful and humbled to bring this community program to life,” said Chief Adrian Vasquez, Colorado Springs Police Department.
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