Mayor Eric Adams and police officials joined together in the Bronx Saturday evening to welcome the return of the NYPD’s Saturday Night Lights program.
Last year the NYPD partnered with the Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD), the City’s District Attorneys, and community-based organizations in order to renovate and open 100 new gyms across the city to provide free summer youth sports programming on Saturday nights.
On March 26 the police department pledged to continue that tradition this year. Mayor Adams, Bronx Borough President Vanessa Gibson and other officials gathered at P.S./I.S. 224 located at 345 Brook Ave. in Mott Haven to kick off the start of the spring season.
What started as an endeavor to open only one previously closed gym on Saturday nights transformed into an initiative that now includes 106 gyms across New York City.
“We have been so reactive in engaging between police and our young people this proactive approach is just so important,” Adams said, gathering the children, officers and other members together inside of P.S./I.S. 224’s gymnasium.
Adams emphasized the sheer importance of fostering programs like Saturday Night Lights, bridging the connection between community and members of the NYPD. He added that the NYPD should be known for more than just fighting crime, many of the men and women in blue go beyond their service of public safety, and they work within communities to try and provide aid where needed. This effort also looks to keep children and teens off the streets and away from harmful crime by keeping them engaged in healthy programming.
The Saturday Night Lights proceeded with elected officials observing the youth play basketball with officers and then showcase a few martial arts routines.
From 5 to 9 p.m., youth ages 11 to 18 are invited to enjoy free indoor sports activities including, soccer, volleyball, karate, flag football, dance, and more.