The Eastside DRT/Community Service Unit has increased its presence in the East End community with various new initiatives.
One particular example is the “School Outreach Project” in which officers from the unit met with students, teachers and administrators at elementary schools in the area and answered questions from these groups as well as parents.
While eating lunch with some of the students at Gallegos Elementary School, Eastside officers were challenged to a soccer match against the students. Captain Cantu graciously accepted and the game was on!
The rest is history! The Eastside team had a friendly soccer match with the Gallegos Elementary School “Firefighters.”
The unit organized the event and worked with the school to get the word out about the friendly match, Unit members also coordinated with City Councilman Robert Gallegos, who represents the area, HISD officials and Police Chief Art Acevedo.
Various officers from the Eastside station volunteered their time to take part in the match. Eastside Officer Michon sang the National Anthem, and the Eastside Explorer Post No. 7525 posted the colors.
Officer Jason Cisneroz, who took the lead in the event coordination, said, “The collaboration between the community and the police is very important, especially within Hispanic areas, like the East End.
“This soccer match was made possible because of the tireless efforts of officers at the Eastside DRT/ Community Services unit. Just days before the event, Chief Acevedo held a press conference in regards to recent statistics that show that the Hispanic community has shown a decline in calls for service to the police.”
The soccer match was planned months prior to the announcement, so the timing was perfect. The officers at Eastside have taken the issue seriously, and work wholeheartedly in the community to help bridge the gap between the community and the police, as well as building more rust between the two, Cisneroz explained.
“The soccer match is a prime example of the hard work and dedication of the Eastside station,” he said, “and stay tuned as there will be other dynamic events with the community soon!”
Oh, and what about the final score? While the fun was happening, it was tough to keep count but at the end of play Eastside eked out a narrow victory. However, the worthy opponents from Gallegos vowed to seek a rematch.
The team issued special thank yous to Capt. Cantu, Lts. Lopez and Nava, Sgts. Tapia, Villanueva, Aguirre, Fick, Ruiz and Teter, and Officers Robles, Salazar, Rodriguez, Palacios, Cisneroz, Yanez, Ramirez, Irving, Michon and Silva.
Special note: Chief Acevedo, Councilman Gallegos and HISD official Rudy Trevino also participated in the game. Each was duly thanked by Eastside.