Sheriff's Office Unveils New Video Gaming Trailer at Pace Jacksonville
Soon, children, teens and even adults will be able to race police officers on Mario Kart or compete in another video game in a new form of community policing.
"I thought, man, wouldn't this be a great tool for us to use with our youth," O'Neal said. "Today is the day it is finally being unveiled and I am so happy about it. ... We already interact with kids and adults as well. This is definitely part of our community policing."
Chief Deloris Patterson O'Neal said the new project allows neighborhoods to meet the men and women with badges who ride their area. Patrol officers can take the trailer out any day of the week or on weekends and set it up, she said.
"Kids come to us so they can play video games, and the officers can play with them as well," O'Neal said. "That's another way for us to partner in the community so we can build upon the relationships we already have. ... They can see us as human and not just a person with a uniform that they have to be afraid of."
Taking part in Pace programs after her first day at school, 16-year-old Kyra took a turn at a game controller with a sergeant when the trailer was unveiled. She said she loves video games, so the idea of the Sheriff's Office sending one to communities "makes me happy."
"It is actually cool for them to get out and interact with us," she said. "You see them doing what they have to do, and some people think of them as bad or have different opinions. But me, I would like to get to know them personally and learn about what they go through on a daily basis."