Cops In Missouri Use Chess Skills To Connect With Inner City Kids

To promote positive relationships within the community, nine different cops play chess with underserved kids as part of the “Chess Helping Enhance Student Skills” program.

Credit: Austin Fuller, CCSCSL

While some law enforcement workers are guilty of abusing their power which, in some cases, has resulted in untimely deaths of citizens, many U.S. cops are inspired to use their positions in society to help others. Take a group of police officers from the St. Louis Police Department, for example. In order to promote positive relationships within the community, nine different cops play chess with underserved kids as part of the “Chess Helping Enhance Student Skills” program.

The program is a collaboration between the Missouri Police Department and the Chess Club and Scholastic Center, and so far, the results have been positive. Each officer is a certified chess instructor, so is able to do more than just offer stimulating conversation to the kids and teens who take part in the initiative. The ultimate aim is to help the inner-city kids improve on their critical thinking, planning, and logic skills,

Credit: Austin Fuller, CCSCSL

As GoodNewsNetwork points out, the program has been introduced at a time when relationships between residents of lower income neighborhoods and the Missouri law enforcement is tense. Since the Ferguson and Florissant incidents a few years back, more people look at the officers with wary resignation rather than admiration. Perhaps that will change as similar initiatives sprout across the U.S.

“Our officers are so excited to be a part of this program,” said Lieutenant Perri Johnson of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department. “It is critical for law enforcement to establish positive relationships with members of the St. Louis community early on, and this program helps us do just that.”

Credit: Austin Fuller, CCSCSL

The program is doing a great job at helping to ease strained relationships between Missouri residents and the law enforcement workers and is showing the rest of the country that cops can serve the community in more ways than one. Tony Rick, CCSCSL Executive Director, shared his thoughts on the collaboration:

“Saint Louis CHESS Cops is a program that truly exhibits the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis’s positive involvement in the community and current affairs. It is a prime example of how chess can teach fundamental lessons, build constructive relationships, and ultimately make a difference in the lives of young people.”

Credit: Austin Fuller, CCSCSL

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