RACINE COUNTY — Community members and law enforcement teamed up on Thursday in Racine for a basketball game and to jump-start solutions to growing violence.
The "Bigger than Basketball" event was organized by Voices of Black Mothers United, an organization of mothers of children who were violently murdered working to build safer communities.
The basketball game aimed to create more bridges between law enforcement and youth in the community.
"To make sure that the people that have the most influence on young people, that are either going to be victims of violence or the suspects, will work actively on trying to change their trajectory so we don't have to continue to go to vigils and have these kinds of games to remember people who lost their lives to violence," said Racine Police Chief Maurice Robinson.
Just last month, the Racine community saw two teens shot. One was killed.
"Under the circumstances, you do the best to press on. Take your time with grieving and healing. But you also need that camaraderie, you need that community," said community connector and student support specialist Jamario Farr Sr.
During halftime of the game, a panel of community stakeholders talked about what changes they hope to see in the community and the resources currently available.
"We can encourage people who might otherwise get discourage with what they think their life could be," Chief Robinson said. "We have no problem putting people in from of other resources that could improve their quality of life."