More than 100 youngsters from Erie County got to experience life as an FBI agent Thursday. The Boys and Girls Club of Buffalo partnered with the FBI in an effort to strengthen the relationship between law enforcement and the public.
The day was christened FBI Junior Special Agent STEM Day. Children from 13 clubs in the Buffalo area watched wide-eyed as law enforcement officers worked with a robot that is used to disabled explosive devices. There were also demonstrations involving evidence response and fitness challenges.
An FBI Special Agent assigned to SWAT who asked that his name not be used told WBFO it’s important for law enforcement and the public to share a healthy relationship
“It’s really good for us to come out here and do this community outreach, be with kids and show them that we’re people, too and we’re to keep them safe. The more they feel comfortable around us, the better,” he said.
Robert Lowery, Director of Program Quality for the Boys and Girls Clubs in Buffalo, said the activities help bridge a stronger bond between law enforcement and kids.
“It gives you an opportunity to see them in a different light,” Lowery said. “One is engaging. It’s like, ‘Okay, we have the law enforcement that does this. They’re kind of cool. We can talk to them.’ Hopefully we kind of build that foundation and relationship building that I think is very important, especially with everything going on in the national news with police interactions with the community and the youth.”
The young participants who attended the program at the club on Babcock Street were introduced to FBI agents.
Lukas Alvira, a 17-year-old Boys and Girls club member, says he enjoys seeing law enforcement in a positive light and in different surroundings.
“Kids have prospective of the police as negative,” Alvira said. “So I think it’s pretty good now that they come out and interact with kids and show them that they can do other things.”
This is the second year that the Boys and Girls Club has partnered with the FBI. As part of the collaboration, the FBI is encouraging kids to live a lifestyle free of crime, gangs, and violence