INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Indianapolis Colts running back Nyheim Hines was a special guest on Thursday, helping the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police North District and the Indianapolis Housing Agency throw a community block party on the city’s northeast side. They call it “Grill & Chill.”
“As we launch our summer initiatives and we talk about reducing violence, a part of that is really just having opportunities to engage the citizens and community and have conversations,” IMPD North District Commander Michael Wolley said.
They’re hoping that these kinds of conversations make a difference in one of the city’s hot spots for violence.
“We like to call them opportunity zones or places where we can really have the biggest impact. It’s really nice to be able to just relax and have fun with people. Not police. Not citizens. Just people,” Wolley said.
John Hall, IHA executive director, said it’s also a chance to bridge the gap: “For the tenants to have the opportunity to develop their own experience with law enforcement — we want it to promote harmony.”
Hines dropped by to hang out as a special guest for the event. Hines spent a lot of his time with the kids playing basketball and tossing the football around. By the time the event was over, his T-shirt was soaked with sweat. He says the experience brought back memories from home.
“[It] felt like my family reunion back in North Carolina,” Hines said. “They had some good food, a lot of great people and [we] had a lot of great times.”
Hill says the housing agency will be working throughout the summer and dedicating resources to building a solid relationship between the community and police.
“I’m overjoyed and I think we need to do it more,” he said. “Even after the cameras are gone and after the grill is shut down. We want to see kids playing all summer long. I want to see more days like this.”
Hill hopes, as a result of events like this, crime will be deterred more in the neighborhood.