Priests and police play basketball to bond

Posted at 11:48 PM, Jul 23, 2016

The Niagara Falls Police Department and pastors from the Ministerial Council played a friendly game of basketball in Niagara Falls Saturday afternoon.

"We usually meet under intense circumstances especially given what's going on around the country," said Deputy Superintendent of Police Carlton Cain. "We thought it would be a nice ice breaker to have each other outside and have some fun."

This friendly match comes after the recent violence in our nation against police officers. Reverend Raymond Allen, Pastor of Bethany Missionary Baptist Church Niagara Ministerial Council, planned this basketball game to bridge the gap between the community and law enforcement.

"Considering what's going on across the country, I thought it was good that we show a different side of pastors and policemen," said Rev. Allen. "It's about building positive relationships."

He wants to get a point across that we are all one at the end of the day.

"At the end of the day we all take our hats off, we take our uniforms off, we take our titles off, and we're just regular people that want to go back home at the end of the day and enjoy our families," said Rev. Allen.

There may have been two teams playing on the court, but in the end, it's just one big community.

"We are the example for the rest of the country right here," said Assemblyman for the 145th district, John Ceretto. "This is a great community and one where we all work together for the same common cause."

"We thought it would just be family and friends, and truly the community came out to support," said Cain. "We are truly pleased."

The pastors won Saturday's match, but Rev. Allen hopes this game becomes a tradition. He said next in his agenda is to play against the Niagara Falls City Council.