FRESNO, Calif. - Fresno Police and community leaders in Southwest Fresno faced off on the football field on Wednesday, for an inaugural football game at Edison High School.
It was the Southwest Policing District officers versus the Stop the Violence and Fresno Street Saints organizations.
"We gonna win this one, we gonna play hard, I know they're gonna play hard," commented Joby Jones with the Fresno Street Saints.
Captain Mark Salazar heads the Southwest Policing District, a part of Fresno often plagued with violence.
He said, "This is all about building relationships, building relationships with our community."
Just two days ago, there were several shootings, not too far away from Edison High School. He said this is a great way for the community to see police in a different light - a chance for them to interact with the youth.
"The youth are the ones that we need to reach, the youth are the ones that are doing some of these shootings, many of these shootings, so it needs to trickle down," stated Salazar.
Jones said the football game shows unity, in an era where there can be division.
"There's always been this stigma of us versus them, police are our enemies, but right now I can see that, some of these guys care about our community," ended Jones.
The groups said they hope continued events like this bring down the crime stats in the area.