Cops' new tools to combat crime: soccer, 'clean sweeps' and conversation

 A recent job fair on a vacant lot on Genesee Street and Goodyear Avenue is one outgrowth of renewed efforts to connect police officers with the communities they serve. (John Hickey/Buffalo News)

A recent job fair on a vacant lot on Genesee Street and Goodyear Avenue is one outgrowth of renewed efforts to connect police officers with the communities they serve. (John Hickey/Buffalo News)

The NET officers have been planning activities for neighborhood children, such as kickball and a field trip to Adventure Landing in the Town of Tonawanda. The officers came up with the idea of weekly soccer clinics that would bring the same police officers to the same locations on a regular basis, something the kids could count on and look forward to.

"They're trying to make it better for the younger generation." says Marquell Lovines. The neighborhood seems a little more peaceful, too, he said, and he's seen more kids playing outside and riding their bikes.

Read more about how police officers are using community-oriented policing strategies to tackle crime while building trust with residents on the Buffalo News.