Police officers participate in pickup games at East Side park

By Mariah Medina - Digital Journalist

SAN ANTONIO - San Antonio Police officers suited up on Sunday for a few pickup games with members of the community.

Several people came out to Menger Creek Park on the East Side for the "Play for Peace" pickup basketball tournament. Despite some showers, the basketball continued.

San Antonio police officer Jason Chamness said shooting hoops was routine for him when he was a student at Roosevelt High School

"This is just something that I feel is great for the community," Chamness said. "(It's) great for us to get out and touch these young kids' souls and be able to talk to them and have a positive outlook on what they're doing and what we're doing and just bring the community together with the police department."

Chamness said that when he's not in uniform, he's in a T-shirt and basketball shorts -- like the many people who participated in the event.

"I know a lot of the time people see us in a uniform and get nervous," Chamness said. "They see us in the car and get nervous, but we're just like them. All it is is just a change of an outfit."

East Central High School student Tray Napoleon said that playing against police officers was a fun experience.

"You know how (some people think) cops are, like, real mean? Well, it turned out they were real fun," Napoleon said. 

Napoleon added that the experience changed his perspective on police.

"We are the community and the community is us," Chamness said.

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