Green Bay Police bond with Latino community on the pitch

GREEN BAY, Wis. - The Green Bay Police Department says its officers need the community's help to do their jobs. 

That's why instead of meeting people on the worst days of their lives, like police often do, officers are putting some time in on the pitch.

Luis Santiago normally coaches his team in the Green Bay Hispanic League.

While the city's Latino community started the league, Santiago said it welcomes all ethnicities.

"With a lot of things that are going on in the world right now, I think it's a great opportunity to get to know other people," said Santiago. 

GBPD Officers are now also joining in the fun.

"We want people to see police officers on a different light and [this game is] just a great way of using soccer to bridge that gap," said Capt. Kevin Warych, Green Bay Police. 

The game isn't about winning or losing, it's about bringing the community together as a team.

"With teams you get to know more people and get to communicate with them, because if you don't communicate, then there's not really a team," said Santiago.

"If we know each other, we can work together, and we can really just live and prosper in this community," said Warych. 

After the final whistle, few will remember the score.

"It’s just really about having fun and just working with one another to develop those relationships that are desperately needed," said Warych.

"I think it helps a lot so people know how the police officers are not just here to just stop crime, they're here to also get to know the community as well," said Santiago.

Instead, officers hope everyone will remember the teamwork and bring that with them back into their communities.

Green bay officers are planning to play in two more games this summer on June 30 and July 21 at Kennedy Park at 11:00 a.m.

They hope to turn it into an event with food and more appearances from McGriff the Crime Dog.

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